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!

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!

President Trump announcing his withdrawal from the Iran deal at the White House on May 8, 2018. Photo: Xinhua/Ting Shen via Getty Images

In quitting the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), President Donald Trump may have thought he could now subject Iran to “extreme pressure” from resumed U.S. secondary sanctions. But the outraged response of countries ordered to wind down their commerce with Iran within the next six months suggests that the U.S. sanctions weapon could become a boomerang.

The big picture: May 8, 2018, may soon become as infamous as March 20, 2003, when the U.S. invaded Iraq against the advice of many of its allies (especially France) and Mideast experts. In leaving the deal despite Iran's compliance, Trump has antagonized the rest of the world and undermined sanctions as a tool of diplomacy.

The background: Longstanding U.S. efforts to depress foreign investment in and trade with Iran have had a mixed record and only really became successful from 2006 to 2014. The effort took off when Iran, under an aggressive and often obnoxious president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, accelerated the country’s nuclear program while also denying the Holocaust and assisting attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq.

Sanctions reached a high point in 2012, when Israel was threatening to bomb Iran and the Obama administration married sanctions with a robust diplomatic strategy. That effort bore fruit in 2015 with the conclusion of the JCPOA and the U.S. agreement to lift nuclear-related sanctions in return for Iran's compliance with verifiable curbs on its nuclear activities.

The bottom line: Many companies will bow to fear of massive fines and quit or avoid the Iranian market. But others, particularly in China and Russia, will find ways to continue to do business with Iran as long as it remains faithful to the JCPOA. The sanctions that President Trump seeks to wield with Thor-like vigor will shrivel and U.S. diplomacy will lose a once-potent tool.

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

Go deeper

Behind GameStop's latest stock surge

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Back in focus: The meme stock trade.

By the numbers: GameStop finished up 19%, after a wild day that saw shares spike as much as 80%.

AT&T spins off U.S. video business via deal with TPG

Photo: AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

AT&T is spinning off three of its video services, including its satellite TV brand DirecTV, to create a new standalone video company called New DIRECTV.

Details: The company will be jointly owned by AT&T and private-equity giant TPG. AT&T will retain a 70% stake and TPG will own 30% of the firm.

Updated 1 hour ago - Sports

Ex-USA Gymnastics coach dies by suicide after being charged with human trafficking

John Geddert. Photo: AFP via Getty Images

The body of John Geddert was found on Thursday, just hours after the former USA Gymnastics coach was charged with 24 counts of criminal misconduct, according to Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel.

What they're saying: “My office has been notified that the body of John Geddert was found late this afternoon after taking his own life. This is a tragic end to a tragic story for everyone involved," Nessel said in a statement.

You’ve caught up. Now what?

Sign up for Mike Allen’s daily Axios AM and PM newsletters to get smarter, faster on the news that matters.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!