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Photo: Xinhua/Ting Shen via Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Tuesday that any "attack by Iran on anything American will be met with great and overwhelming force."

Why it matters: It's a new red line for Trump in the latest round of heightened tensions with Iran. The president previously called off a military strike in response to the downing of a U.S. drone, claiming the death toll would be disproportionate. His tweet on Tuesday strikes a markedly new tone.

"Iran leadership doesn't understand the words "nice" or "compassion," they never have. Sadly, the thing they do understand is Strength and Power, and the USA is by far the most powerful Military Force in the world, with 1.5 Trillion Dollars invested over the last two years alone. The wonderful Iranian people are suffering, and for no reason at all. Their leadership spends all of its money on Terror, and little on anything else. The U.S. has not forgotten Iran’s use of IED's & EFP's (bombs), which killed 2000 Americans, and wounded many more. Iran's very ignorant and insulting statement, put out today, only shows that they do not understand reality. Any attack by Iran on anything American will be met with great and overwhelming force. In some areas, overwhelming will mean obliteration. No more John Kerry & Obama!"

Context: The U.S. imposed new sanctions against Iran's leadership and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Monday. Iran's foreign ministry responded by saying these sanctions have led to the "permanent closure of the path of diplomacy," while President Hassan Rouhani blasted the White House's move as "useless" and indicative of a "mental handicap."

Go deeper... Timeline: How Trump and Tehran came to the brink of war

Go deeper

Trump's coronavirus adviser Scott Atlas resigns

Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty

Scott Atlas, a controversial member of the White House coronavirus task force, handed in his resignation on Monday, according to three administration officials who discussed Atlas' resignation with Axios.

Why it matters: President Trump brought in Atlas as a counterpoint to NIAID director Anthony Fauci, whose warnings about the pandemic were dismissed by the Trump administration. With Trump now fixated on election fraud conspiracy theories, Atlas' detail comes to a natural end.

Dave Lawler, author of World
2 hours ago - World

Assassination in Iran sets stage for tense final 50 days of Trump

The funeral ceremony in Tehran. Photo: Iranian Defense Ministry via Getty

Iranian leaders are weighing their response to the assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, known as the father of Iran’s military nuclear program, who was given a state funeral Monday in Tehran.

The big picture: Iran has accused Israel of carrying out Friday’s attack, but senior leaders have suggested that they’ll choose patience over an immediate escalation that could play into the hands of the Israelis and the outgoing Trump administration.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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