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Federica Mogherini (L), the EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (R). Photo: Alexander Shcherbak\TASS via Getty Images

With U.S. sanctions on Iranian oil set to kick in Sunday at midnight, Iran's foreign minister has reached out to a number of key European leaders to reaffirm their countries' support for the 2015 nuclear deal, Politico reports.

Why it matters: The European Union has been vocal in its disapproval of President Trump's unilateral withdrawal from the Iran deal. The first round of U.S. sanctions, which went into effect in August, has already taken a significant toll on Iran's economy, but it's the second round — which targets Iran's critical oil exports — that could threaten total collapse. Iran's ability to preserve trade ties with the EU would undermine the Trump administration's "maximum pressure" approach to sanctions.

Go deeper

USAID chief tests positive for coronavirus

An Air Force cargo jet delivers USAID supplies to Russia earlier this year. Photo: Mikhail Metzel/TASS via Getty Images

The acting administrator of the United States Agency for International Development informed senior staff Wednesday he has tested positive for coronavirus, two sources familiar with the call tell Axios.

Why it matters: John Barsa, who staffers say rarely wears a mask in their office, is the latest in a series of senior administration officials to contract the virus. His positive diagnosis comes amid broader turmoil at the agency following the election.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
5 hours ago - Health

COVID-19 shows a bright future for vaccines

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Promising results from COVID-19 vaccine trials offer hope not just that the pandemic could be ended sooner than expected, but that medicine itself may have a powerful new weapon.

Why it matters: Vaccines are, in the words of one expert, "the single most life-saving innovation ever," but progress had slowed in recent years. New gene-based technology that sped the arrival of the COVID vaccine will boost the overall field, and could even extend to mass killers like cancer.

7 hours ago - Health

Beware a Thanksgiving mirage

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Don't be surprised if COVID metrics plunge over the next few days, only to spike next week.

Why it matters: The COVID Tracking Project warns of a "double-weekend pattern" on Thanksgiving — where the usual weekend backlog of data is tacked on to a holiday.