Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

This high-stakes week could be the most defining yet for the emerging Trump national security doctrine, with major news expected on Iran, North Korea, Israel and the CIA.

Why it matters: This isn’t just another round of Trump rhetoric. These are policy decisions with real consequences.

What to watch:

  • President Trump has to decide by Saturday whether the U.S. will abandon the Iran nuclear deal. Signs suggest Trump will withdraw. If so, watch Iran’s next move and how America’s European allies respond. Boris Johnson, the British foreign secretary, is keeping up Europe’s pressure on Trump to remain in the deal with a visit to Washington and a New York Times op-ed. [Go deeper: The AP outlines some possible scenarios on Iran.]
  • The White House is expected to announce the date and location of Trump’s meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Trump has expressed interest in holding it at the DMZ. An announcement could coincide with North Korea’s release of three jailed Americans and would lock in an extraordinary shift in U.S. posture toward Pyongyang. For Trump, this is high-risk, high-reward. If the summit fails, there are few diplomatic options left for dealing with the North Korea threat.
  • Trump’s nominee for CIA director, Gina Haspel, faces a potentially brutal Senate confirmation hearing on Wednesday. The White House is gearing up for a fight — leaning on red-state Democrats, and Haspel’s potential to become the first woman to lead the CIA — to get her over the finish line. But the confirmation vote has become such a referendum on America’s stance on torture, and a political litmus test for Democrats, that she offered to withdraw, per the Washington Post.  [Go deeper: NBC’s Ken Dilanian has a "Nightly News" profile on Haspel.]
  • The Trump administration moves the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem on May 14. Israel is preparing for a spike in violence to coincide with the move.

Be smart: No one should be surprised by these developments, given Trump’s campaign promises. But they nonetheless are likely to create a new era of uncertainty.

  • The combination alone of Trump withdrawing from the Iran deal and meeting with Kim could have widespread ramifications.
  • Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, tells me: “The result will violate a cardinal national security rule: avoiding having more than one nuclear crisis at a time.”

Go deeper

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U.S. threatens to veto UN peacekeeping in Lebanon over Hezbollah concerns

Peacekeepers with Lebanese troops in southern Lebanon. Photo: Jalaa Marey/AFP via Getty

The Trump administration is threatening to veto a resolution to extend the UN's long-standing peacekeeping mission in southern Lebanon if its mandate isn't changed, Israeli and U.S. officials tell me.

Why it matters: The U.S. is the main funder of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), which has an annual budget of $250 million. The veto threat is a tactical move, and part of a broader effort to put pressure on Iran and its proxy in Lebanon, Hezbollah.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10:30 a.m. ET: 20,388,408 — Total deaths: 743,599— Total recoveries: 12,616,973Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10:30 a.m. ET: 5,150,590 — Total deaths: 164,681 — Total recoveries: 1,714,960 — Total tests: 63,252,257Map.
  3. Business: U.S. already feeling effects of ending unemployment benefits — U.S. producer prices rose last month by the most since October 2018.
  4. Public health: America is flying blind on its coronavirus response.

Trump congratulates QAnon conspiracy theorist on GOP runoff win

Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump on Wednesday tweeted congratulations to Marjorie Taylor Greene, a vocal QAnon conspiracy theorist who won the Republican nomination in Georgia's deep-red 14th Congressional District runoff.

Why it matters: The president's approval illustrates how the once-fringe conspiracy theory has gained ground within the GOP. Greene is among the at least 11 GOP candidates for Congress who have openly supported or defended the QAnon movement or some of its tenets, per Axios' Jacob Knutson.