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The UN atomic watchdog said on Friday that Iran remains within the boundaries of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, however, red-flagged the increasing production of low-enriched uranium (LEU) and heavy water, the AP reports.

The backdrop: Iran is at risk of breaking the nuclear deal if it exceeds LEU stockpile restrictions outlined in the accord. Last month, Iran threatened to increase its uranium enrichment if it couldn't shield itself from U.S. sanctions.

  • Behrouz Kamalvandi, the spokesperson for Iran’s nuclear agency, said earlier this month that the increase in LEU production does not mean that Iran has increased the number of centrifuges in use, another requirement of the deal.

The big picture: Since President Trump withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal a year ago, the administration has been pursuing harsh sanctions and declared that the pressure will only increase until Iran’s regime changes course, or collapses.

Go deeper: Iran quadruples production rate of low-enriched uranium

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include new developments reported by AP. The UN watchdog is now raising questions about whether Iran is complying with key provisions to limit the nation's use of advanced centrifuges.

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York coronavirus restrictions

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled late Wednesday that restrictions previously imposed on New York places of worship by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) during the coronavirus pandemic violated the First Amendment.

Why it matters: The decision in a 5-4 vote heralds the first significant action by the new President Trump-appointed conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who cast the deciding vote in favor of the Catholic Church and Orthodox Jewish synagogues.

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
10 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.

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