Israel has been trying to influence the Biden administration's approach to the Iran nuclear deal in a series of high-level meetings with U.S. officials, Israeli officials tell me.
Why it matters: Under former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel didn't engage with the Biden administration over the deal except to vehemently oppose it and stress that Israel wouldn't be constrained by it. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and his new government also oppose the deal, but are trying to engage with the U.S. on the issue.
After eight years of near-constant attacks on President Hassan Rouhani, a moderate, Iran's hardliners will control all levers of power after the election of Ebrahim Raisi as Rouhani's successor.
Why it matters: Some observers posit that the alignment between Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and the new hardline president will pave the way for more stability in Iran and eventually a greater willingness to engage in diplomacy.
The election of conservative cleric Ebrahim Raisi as Iran’s next president injects new urgency into the efforts to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, but could preclude the possibility of a “longer and stronger” agreement.
Why it matters: President Biden hopes to put Iran’s nuclear program “back in a box” by salvaging the previous deal and then negotiate a follow-on accord to extend the deal’s timelines and cover Iran’s missile program and other issues.
Iran's new President-elect Ebrahim Raisi said Monday he is not willing to meet President Joe Biden, AP reports.
The big picture: Raisi's election has come as nations are negotiating a potential return to the 2015 nuclear deal, and has placed "hard-liners firmly in control across the government," writes AP.
Iran's only nuclear power plant is experiencing an "unexplained temporary emergency shutdown" that began Saturday and could last three to four days, according to an official from the state electric company, the Associated Press reported Sunday.
Why it matters: This marks the first time the plant, located in the southern city of Bushehr, has reported a shutdown.
Hardliner Ebrahim Raisi easily won Friday's presidential election in Iran, recording 62% of the vote with more than 90% of ballots counted.
Why it matters: Currently the head of Iran's judiciary, Raisi is a close confidant of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and has the support of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). His victory solidifies him as a leading candidate to succeed Khamenei, though Friday's low turnout speaks to the disillusionment of many Iranian voters.
The Biden administration wants to finalize a deal with Iran to return to the 2015 nuclear deal in the six weeks remaining before a new Iranian president is inaugurated, a U.S. official tells Axios.
Key quote: The official said it would be "concerning" if talks dragged on into early August, when Iran's transition is due to take place. "If we don't have a deal before a new government is formed, I think that would raise serious questions about how achievable it's going to be," the official said.
Iranian Judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi is the favorite to win Friday's presidential election, a result that would reassert conservative control over all levers of power in Tehran.
Driving the news: The latest polls in Iran project a very low turnout of around 42% — a testament to the disillusionment of supporters of the reformist camp who find themselves with no candidate to vote for.
The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency tells "Axios on HBO" that it's "essential" to have a nuclear deal with Iran because otherwise "we are flying blind."
Driving the news: Director-General Rafael Mariano Grossi sat down with "Axios on HBO" at IAEA headquarters in Vienna, ahead of Iran's June 18 presidential election and a June 24 extension on negotiations seeking to restore curtailed surveillance of Iranian nuclear sites and salvage the 2015 deal.
Iran regained its United Nations General Assembly vote on Friday after it made a minimum dues payment, while denouncing the United States for sanctions that had blocked billions in funds, AP reports.
The big picture: The Biden administration on Thursday lifted sanctions on former Iranian officials affiliated with the National Iranian Oil Co., signaling that it's willing to ease economic pressure on Iran, the Wall Street Journal reports.