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The head of the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi. Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reached an agreement with Iran that allows UN inspectors to continue necessary verification and monitoring of Iran’s nuclear facilities for up to 3 months.

Why it matters: The understanding buys more time for more diplomacy between the U.S. and Iran. The Biden administration announced last week it was formally ready to meet with Iran and other world leaders and discuss ways to reinstate the 2015 nuclear deal.

 The big picture: According to a law passed by the Iranian parliament, Iran was supposed to start limiting UN inspectors' access to nuclear facilities starting Tuesday.

  • The Iranian law passed as part of the retaliation to the assassination of senior Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.
  • The law said that Iran should suspend its implementation of the “additional protocol” to the nuclear non proliferation treaty, which allows UN inspectors to make unannounced visits to declared or undeclared nuclear sites and enhances their ability to monitor Iran’s nuclear program.
  • In recent days the Iranians threatened to take even more extreme steps like cutting off the video feed from the cameras in their nuclear sites which UN inspectors use to monitor them.

Driving the news: IAEA head Raphael Grossi visited Tehran on Sunday for talks with the head of Iran atomic energy organization Ali Akbar Salehi, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and President Hassan Rouhani.

  • At a press conference after arriving back in Vienna, Grossi said Iran will proceed to implement the law but will take steps to temporarily mitigate it.
  • Grossi said Iran will continues to implement “fully and without limitation” its commitments regarding the work of the UN inspectors in a way the will be “compatible with the law” for another three months.
  • Grossi added that UN inspectors will have less access to Iran’s nuclear program than before but stressed it will still be satisfactory.

Details: Iran's atomic energy organization issued a statement detailing the agreement: UN inspectors will continue to have regular access to uranium enrichment facilities, "no extra-supervisory access will be granted to the IAEA and no extra-supervisory inspections will be conducted". 

  • The law states IAEA will not have access to footage from cameras in several nuclear sites that are not uranium enrichment facilities. Iran and the IAEA agreed that for 3 months Iran will record and retain the footage.
  • During this period, the IAEA will have no access to this information and the information will remain exclusively with Iran. If the sanctions are lifted completely within 3 months, Iran will provide this information to the IAEA, otherwise the information will be deleted forever.

What they are saying: Grossi stressed the agreement reached with the Iranians will ensure UN inspectors do "not fly blind” when they monitor Iran’s nuclear facilities.

  • Grossi said the temporary understanding both prevented a crisis and bought more time for a political agreement between Iran and the world powers on the nuclear deal.

Go deeper

Republican Sen. Sasse slams Nebraska GOP for "weird worship" of Trump after state party rebuke

Sen. Ben Sasse, (R-Neb.) Photo: Andrew Harnik - Pool/Getty Images

The Nebraska Republican Party on Saturday formally "rebuked" Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) for his vote to impeach former President Trump earlier this year, though it stopped short of a formal censure, CNN reports.

Why it matters: Sasse is the latest among a slate of Republicans who have faced some sort of punishment from their state party apparatus after voting to impeach the former president. The senator responded statement Saturday, per the Omaha World-Herald, saying "most Nebraskans don't think politics should be about the weird worship of one dude."

Cuomo barraged by fellow Dems after second harassment accusation

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo faced a barrage of criticism from fellow Democrats after The New York Times reported that the second former aide in four days had accused him of sexual harassment.

Why it matters: Cuomo had faced a revolt from legislators for his handling of nursing-home deaths from COVID. Now, the scandal is acutely personal, with obviously grave political risk.

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Fauci: Children "very likely" to get COVID vaccine at start of 2022

NIAID Director Anthony Fauci. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Children under age 12 will "very likely" be able to get vaccinated for coronavirus at the "earliest the end of the year, and very likely the first quarter of 2022," NIAID Director Anthony Fauci told "Meet the Press" Sunday.

Why it matters: Children generally aren't at risk of serious coronavirus infections, but vaccinating them will be key to protecting the adults around them and, eventually, reaching herd immunity, writes Axios' Caitlin Owens.