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Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo / AP

President Trump will give a speech tomorrow afternoon in which he's expected to announce the administration's new Iran strategy and signal his intention to refuse to certify the Iran nuclear deal.

Sources familiar with the speech's contents say the president is likely to largely focus on Iran's broader non-nuclear activities and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), a branch of Iran's armed forces.

One source tells me: "This is going to be a harsh speech. It's going to be about Iran attacking us."The Trump administration is required to extend an Executive Order about sanctioning terrorists to the entire IRGC.Why this matters: The IRGC already has all its assets frozen under another executive order (regarding ballistic missile proliferation) but this is a huge deal because it allows Trump to go to the Europeans and say "you're dealing with terrorists."Details on the policy review:The speech will blame the IRGC for everything from human rights abuses in Iran to spreading terrorism to taking U.S. hostages.The Trump administration will carve out a category called "asymmetric threats." That will include terrorism, cyber, ballistic missiles, anti-ship missiles (can be used to block energy shipments through the Persian Gulf), and support for proxies for Hezbollah and the Houthis.The backdrop: Although the speech will be at the White House, originally they brainstormed holding it in front of the shuttered Iranian embassy in Washington, D.C., and then were considering various areas that highlight Iran's attacks on U.S. Marines — like the "Raising the flag on Iwo Jima" memorial outside of the Arlington Cemetery.What's next: Attention turns to Capitol Hill, where a good number of members are eager to work with the Trump administration to make the Iran deal tougher. Should Congress pass new legislation - which would be a heavy lift - it would likely set up a situation in which Congress sets tougher benchmarks on Iran, and would have the excuse of snapping back sanctions if Iran violates these new benchmarks.

Go deeper

Media giants back Bannon's bid to release Jan. 6 documents

Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon at the FBI Washington Field Office in Washington, DC., in November. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

A coalition of news outlets including the Washington Post is supporting Stephen Bannon's campaign for the release of documents related to his contempt of Congress charges, WashPost confirmed Wednesday.

Why it matters: WashPost, the New York Times, CNN, NBC, the Wall Street Journal's parent company and others filed a motion arguing that a proposed protective order seeking to prevent the documents from being released violates the First Amendment, per the Daily Mail, which first reported on the news.

Symone Sanders leaving VP's office

Vice President Kamala Harris and her press secretary Symone Sanders. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Symone Sanders, senior advisor and chief spokesperson to Vice President Kamala Harris, is leaving the VP’s office by the end of this year, three White House officials told Axios on Wednesday.

Why it matters: The VP has faced an onslaught of criticism in her first year centered on her leadership and staff, adding to the suggestion, she’s not the Democratic Party’s preferred nominee for 2024.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Updated 3 hours ago - Health

Omicron travel bans are sign of what's to come

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The travel bans and border closures prompted by the Omicron variant likely won't fully prevent its spread, but that won't stop countries from leaning on the measures.

Why it matters: The rapid speed at which countries turned to travel bans with the emergence of Omicron indicates border controls will increasingly become a weapon against infectious disease — whether or not public health experts agree they are effective.