Apr 24, 2018

Macron says he wants a "new agreement" on Iran nuclear deal

President Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron shake hands before a joint press conference at the White House. Photo: Ludovic Marin/AFP via Getty Images

French President Emmanuel Macron said Tuesday that he wants a "new agreement" on the 2015 Iran nuclear deal during a joint press conference with President Trump at the White House.

Why it matters: The unanswered question is whether Macron has convinced Trump to remain in the Iran deal while a broader agreement is negotiated, rather than pulling the U.S. out of the current deal on May 12th as he is widely expected to do. Trump said, "nobody knows what I’m going to do on the 12th, although Mr. President you have a pretty good idea."

"We want sustainable stability and I believe the discussions we’ve had together make it possible to open the way, to pave the way for a new agreement."
— French President Emmanuel Macron

What Macron is looking to change with regards to the Iran nuclear deal: Containing Iran's regional influence, blocking Iran's nuclear activity until 2025, and putting an end to the country's ballistic missile tests.

Highlights:

  • North Korea: Trump says the purpose of his summit with Kim Jong-un is the denuclearization of North Korea, meaning "they get rid of their nukes."
  • Syria strikes: Trump thanked Macron for his "leadership" on launching strikes in Syria following the chemical weapons attack, and touted the coordinated effort from the U.S., U.K., and France.
  • Pulling U.S. troops from Syria: Trump said he still wants U.S. troops "to come home" but "I want [them] to come home with having accomplished what we have to accomplish.” Note: Macron has previously tried to convince Trump to keep the U.S. military presence in Syria for a longer period of time.
  • Ronny Jackson's confirmation hearing: Trump acknowledged that there's an "experience problem" with Jackson, and said it'll be up to Jackson on whether he removes himself from consideration as VA Secretary.

Go deeper: What Macron gains from this visit.

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Coronavirus spreads to more countries, and South Korea ups its case count

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus continues to spread to more nations, and the U.S. reports a doubling of its confirmed cases to 34 — while noting those are mostly due to repatriated citizens, emphasizing there's no "community spread" yet in the U.S. South Korea's confirmed cases jumped from 204 on Friday to 433 on Saturday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 2,362 people and infected more than 77,000 others, mostly in mainland China. New countries to announce infections recently include Israel, Lebanon and Iran.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

Centrist Democrats beseech 2020 candidates: "Stand up to Bernie" or Trump wins

Bernie Sanders rallies in Las Vegas, Nevada on Feb. 21. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Center-left think tank Third Way urgently called on the Democratic front-runners of the 2020 presidential election to challenge Sen. Bernie Sanders on the South Carolina debate stage on Feb. 25, in a memo provided to Axios' Mike Allen on Saturday.

What they're saying: "At the Las Vegas debate ... you declined to really challenge Senator Sanders. If you repeat this strategy at the South Carolina debate this week, you could hand the nomination to Sanders, likely dooming the Democratic Party — and the nation — to Trump and sweeping down-ballot Republican victories in November."

Situational awareness

A combine in Rippey, Iowa harvests soybeans in October 2019. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Catch up on today's biggest news:

  1. U.S. soybean stockpiles expected to drop as exports rebound, USDA says
  2. Warren Buffett releases annual letter, reassures investors about future of Berkshire Hathaway
  3. Centrist Democrats beseech 2020 candidates: "Stand up to Bernie" or Trump wins
  4. Reports: Facebook offers up to $5 for voice recordings
  5. Greyhound bars immigration sweeps