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Rafael Mariano Grossi and Mohammad Eslami give a joint press conference in Tehran on Sept. 12. Photo: Atomic Energy Organization of Iran/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency reached an agreement on Sunday that will allow the United Nations' nuclear watchdog group to provide upkeep on its monitoring cameras at Iranian nuclear sites.

Why it matters: The last-minute agreement prevents another crisis on the road to restoring the 2015 nuclear deal, as Iran was on the cusp of being censured for violating its agreement with the IAEA, per the New York Times.

The big picture: Just last week, the IAEA said its efforts had been "seriously undermined" by the Iranian government's refusal to allow access to its monitoring equipment, which tracks the progress of Iran's nuclear program.

  • Under the new agreement, Iran has allowed the IAEA to "service the identified equipment and replace their storage media," according to the joint press release.
  • "We agreed over the replacement of the memory cards of the agency's cameras," Mohammad Eslami, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, told local media, Reuters reported.
  • The "way and timing" of when the memory cards will be replaced must still be determined, noted the joint press release.
  • Rafael Mariano Grossi, director general of the IAEA, will meet with Eslami at the upcoming general conference in Vienna later this month, per Al Jazeera.
  • Grossi will also soon travel to Iran, the joint press release noted.
  • Enrique Mora, who has led the European Union delegation in Vienna nuclear talks, tweeted that the deal was a "positive step towards ensuring continuity of knowledge on Iran’s nuclear programme. Gives space for diplomacy. I appreciate the efforts."

State of play: The U.S. pulled out of the Iran deal in 2018 during the Trump administration, and the Iranian government has countered by violating the limits placed on its nuclear program.

Go deeper

Oct 13, 2021 - World

Iraq elections boost nationalist al-Sadr at expense of pro-Iran bloc

Al-Sadr supporters celebrate in Baghdad. Photo: Ayman Yaqoob/Anadolu Agency via Getty

Abu Dhabi — Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has emerged from Sunday's parliamentary elections as the leading figure in Iraqi politics.

Why it matters: Al-Sadr has positioned himself as a bulwark against foreign interference in Iraq. He has a history of violent opposition to U.S. forces in the country but has more recently proved adept at presenting himself to regional and international partners as a more palatable alternative to pro-Iranian rivals.

Updated 1 hour ago - Science

Nor'easter slams East Coast with flooding rain and powerful winds

A residential area in Middlesex County as floodwater from the nor'easter covers streets in New Jersey on Tuesday. Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A monster storm was slamming the Northeast with record rainfall and powerful winds over Tuesday night — causing flash flooding that resulted in people having to be rescued in New Jersey and New York roads to close.

Threat level: All of southern New England westward to New York City and northern New Jersey was under the threat of flash flooding and coastal flooding from the nor'easter through Tuesday night into early Wednesday, per the National Weather Service.

1 hour ago - World

Blinken speaks with Sudan prime minister after his release

Sudan's Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok. Photo: Ebrahim Hamid/AFP via Getty Images

Secretary of State Tony Blinken spoke on the phone on Tuesday evening with Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok after the military released him from custody.

Why it matters: Hamdok’s release was a result of pressure on Sudan’s military leader General Abdul Fattah al-Burhan from the U.S. and other countries but also from the different political parties in Sudan and massive protests in the streets.