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 the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

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!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of 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!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of 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!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of 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!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of 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!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of 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!

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Photo: Mikhail Metzel/TASS via Getty Images

One of many questions in the aftermath of the Singapore summit is whether President Trump might seek a similar breakthrough with Iran.

The big picture: Such a meeting would be just as unprecedented as the Trump-Kim encounter: No American president has met an Iranian president since the 1979 revolution. Even President Obama, whose administration negotiated a major nuclear agreement with Iran, was spurned when he sought a handshake with President Hassan Rouhani at the UN.

But the reasons why such an encounter is almost impossible to envision are myriad:

  • While Secretary of State Pompeo has suggested that the U.S. would be willing to offer “more for more” — an agreement that lifts primary U.S. sanctions and normalizes relations in return for dramatic Iranian policy reversals — the U.S. has no apparent strategy or even personnel devoted to resuming negotiations with the Islamic Republic. It is focused instead on ratcheting up economic pressure on Iran in an apparent effort to force Tehran to also violate the deal.
  • Iran is in no mood for high-level diplomacy with a leader who unilaterally walked out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), with which Iran was in compliance. Iran is working, instead, to salvage the JCPOA by achieving sanctions workarounds with European and Asian trading partners.
  • U.S. regional allies — in particular Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — would be solidly opposed to such a meeting, unlike South Korea and, to a lesser extent, Japan, which had encouraged Trump to meet Kim Jong-un to prevent the outbreak of a war that would devastate Northeast Asia.
  • Iran, unlike North Korea, has no single decision-maker who could match a U.S. president in terms of raw power. Rouhani is not Iran’s commander in chief, merely its chief executive, and even Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei makes decisions through a process of consensus-building among Iran’s political and security elite.

The bottom line: U.S.–Iran relations are not amenable to breakthrough by photo op; progress will require painstaking negotiations and confidence-building measures. There is a reason it took the Obama administration several years to achieve the JCPOA. That achievement is not likely to be replicated or improved upon while its destroyer-in-chief remains in office.

Barbara Slavin directs the Future of Iran Initiative at the Atlantic Council.

Go deeper

28 mins ago - Health

Treasury begins dispersing $350 billion in COVID relief funding to states and localities

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/UPI/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The U.S. Treasury on Monday began giving state and local governments access to $350 billion in emergency funding from the American Rescue Plan, the department announced Monday.

Why it matters: Though the money is aimed at helping state, local, territorial and tribal governments recover from the pandemic's economic fallout, the administration will generally give them wide latitude on how they can use the funds.

Game developers break silence around salaries

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Developers are sharing their salaries on Twitter under the hashtag #GameDevPaidMe to encourage pay transparency in their industry.

The big picture: The hashtag started circulating last year, but has returned periodically as developers fight for better working conditions. Salary sharing is a way to equalize the field. By removing the secrecy, as well as the stigma, around discussing pay, workers have more power to advocate for themselves when negotiating salaries and raises.

56 mins ago - World

Jerusalem crisis: Hamas fires rockets, Israel begins military campaign

Palestinian protesters and an Israeli police officer near the Damascus Gate. Photo: Amir Levy/Getty Images

Days of tensions in Jerusalem escalated into an exchange of fire on Monday, as Hamas fired dozens of rockets toward Israel and the Israeli military responded with strikes of its own and said it was preparing for a military operation that could last several days.

Why it matters: This is the first time Hamas has fired rockets at Jerusalem since 2014, and the most serious escalation between the Israelis and Palestinians in many months. It comes during the most sensitive days on the calendar — the last days of Ramadan and the Jerusalem Day commemoration on Monday — and amid political crises in both countries.