Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Donald Trump. Mark Wilson / Getty Images

The Trump administration has decided to continue waiving sanctions as they relate to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal — but the president will “make clear this is the last waiver he will issue,” one senior administration official told reporters in a briefing Friday.

Why it matters: This effectively keeps the U.S. in the Iran deal, for now, and goes against Trump's threats last year that he would cancel the nuclear deal.

  • The Treasury will also be issuing new targeted sanctions on 14 individuals and entities relating to human rights, as well as its ballistic missile program and the IRGC. Sanctions will, in particular, target the head of Iran’s judiciary. These sanctions may inflame tensions in the region despite the fact that Trump is waiving economic sanctions related to the deal.
  • Trump still has until Saturday to determine whether he will certify Iran’s compliance in the deal. Trump decided last October he would not certify Iran’s compliance.

Catch up quick: The nuclear deal waived economic sanctions on Iran in 2015 in exchange for Iran easing up on its nuclear ambitions.

  • Why it might make sense that he is waiving the sanctions: His national security team was working to convince him this week to waive them, as we reported earlier this week. Experts say if he reimposed sanctions on Iran it would take away from the antigovernment protests in Iran.

Next: Trump intends to work with European partners to the nuclear deal for a “follow-on agreement” about limits for Iran’s participation in the deal, per one senior administration official. These will be related to inspections and sunset clauses for the deal, some of which are set to expire in 2020, with other sunsets kicking in in 2023.

"The Trump administration faces a huge challenge in getting European allies to strengthen the JCPOA. While Britain may move to support the US on this, Germany and France are likely to be strongly opposed," said Nile Gardiner, director of the Thatcher Center for Freedom.

  • Senator Ben Cardin, Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in a statement: “Congress, the President, and our European partners must remain open to constructive discussions on how to counter the Iranian threat without violating the JCPOA. Instead of leading an international negotiation on the agreement himself, however, the President’s statement making threats and dictating final terms of potential negotiations with Congress and Europe makes it more challenging to achieve this objective."

Trump has a few demands for Congress as they work out legislative fixes to the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act (INARA), per the senior administration officials on the call:

  1. That legislation mandate Iran allow timely, sufficient inspection at all sites from international inspectors.
  2. That legislation ensure Iran does not come close to possessing a nuclear weapon, with close to a 1-year breakout timeline.
  3. That legislation must address sunset flaws by allowing U.S. to snap back sanctions.
  4. That legislation must state explicitly in U.S. law for the first time that we view Iran nuclear programs as unacceptable.

Go deeper: How the Iranian protests might affect Trump's decisions on Iran

Go deeper

Scoop: Gina Haspel threatened to resign over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelation stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency. Only a series of coincidences — and last minute interventions from Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Pat Cipollone — stopped it.

Updated 10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.

John Weaver, Lincoln Project co-founder, acknowledges “inappropriate” messages

John Weaver aboard John McCain's campaign plane in February 2000. Photo: Robert Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images)

John Weaver, a veteran Republican operative who co-founded the Lincoln Project, declared in a statement to Axios on Friday that he sent “inappropriate,” sexually charged messages to multiple men.

  • “To the men I made uncomfortable through my messages that I viewed as consensual mutual conversations at the time: I am truly sorry. They were inappropriate and it was because of my failings that this discomfort was brought on you,” Weaver said.
  • “The truth is that I'm gay,” he added. “And that I have a wife and two kids who I love. My inability to reconcile those two truths has led to this agonizing place.”