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Ebrahim Noroozi / AP

The Trump administration has chosen to retain a key portion of the Iran nuclear deal, renewing waivers that allow foreign companies to do business in Iran, per BuzzFeed News.

The context: Though Trump has often been critical of the Obama-era deal, this decision means that one of its major provisions will remain intact just before Iran heads to the polls on Friday for its presidential election. It'll strengthen moderate President Hassan Rouhani, who has made the deal a highlight of his platform, as he faces down a challenge from conservative cleric Ebrahim Raisi.

Not scot-free: The White House is still set to take some action against Iran, as the Treasury Department will sanction some Iranians for ballistic missile development and the State Department will issue a report condemning Iran's human rights practices.

Go deeper

26 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Senate Republicans plan to exact pain before COVID relief vote

Sen. Ron Johnson. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Republicans are demanding a full, 600-page bill reading — and painful, multi-hour "vote-a-rama" — as Democrats forge ahead with their plan to pass President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package.

Why it matters: The procedural war is aimed at forcing Democrats to defend several parts the GOP considers unnecessary and partisan. While the process won't substantially impact the final version of the mammoth bill, it'll provide plenty of ammunition for future campaign messaging.

The new grifters: outrage profiteers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

As Republicans lost the Senate and narrowly missed retaking the House, millions of dollars in grassroots donations were diverted to a handful of 2020 congressional campaigns challenging high-profile Democrats that, realistically, were never going to succeed.

Why it matters: Call it the outrage-industrial complex. Slick fundraising consultants market candidates contesting some of their party’s most reviled opponents. Well-meaning donors pour money into dead-end campaigns instead of competitive contests. The only winner is the consultants.

Republican governors loom over precarious Senate

Note: Bernie Sanders is an independent who caucuses with the Democrats. Data: Axios Research/ProPublica/NCSL; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Nineteen seats in the U.S. Senate could potentially flip parties if there's an unexpected vacancy, according to Axios' analysis of state vacancy rules, which most often allow the governor to appoint a replacement.

Why it matters: Depending on the senator, a single resignation, retirement or death — by accident or old age — could flip control of the 50-50 Senate, or give Democrats a two-vote cushion.

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