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The European Union and Iran say they have agreed to resume negotiations in Vienna in the coming days over Tehran’s tattered nuclear deal with world powers. The agreement on Saturday could help relieve tensions after the talks stalled for months, while Iran enriches uranium closer than ever to weapons-grade levels under decreasing international oversight. At a joint press conference with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian in Tehran, the EU’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borell, said the negotiations would restart soon. He added that the United States, which unilaterally withdrew from the nuclear deal in 2018 and imposed tough economic sanctions on Iran, should also return to the negotiations.
Iran has begun removing 27 surveillance cameras from nuclear sites across the country. That's according to the U.N. nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency. The agency's chief, Rafael Mariano Grossi, warned from Vienna on Thursday that if an agreement cannot be reached to restore the cameras in three to four weeks, “this would be a fatal blow” to Iran’s tattered nuclear deal. Iran did not immediately acknowledge the move, though it warned it could take more punitive steps amid a dispute with the IAEA over censuring Iran on Wednesday over Tehran's failure to provide “credible information” over man-made nuclear material found at three undeclared sites in the country.
An adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s office says Russian troops have changed their tactics in the battle for Sievierodonetsk. Oleksiy Arestovych said Wednesday that Russian soldiers have retreated from the city and are now pounding it with artillery and airstrikes. As a result, he says, the city center is deserted. In his daily online interview, Arestovych says: “They retreated, our troops retreated, so the artillery hits an empty place. They are hitting hard without any particular success.”
President Joe Biden’s special envoy for North Korea is monitoring North Korean arrangements for a possible nuclear test explosion that outside officials say could be imminent. The envoy said Friday the United States is “preparing for all contingencies” in close coordination with its South Korean and Japanese allies. American diplomat Sung Kim was in Seoul for a trilateral meeting with his South Korean and Japanese counterparts to discuss the growing threat posed by North Korea’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles program. North Korea has ramped up missile tests in 2022, exploiting a favorable environment to push forward weapons development as the United Nations Security Council remains divided over Russia’s war on Ukraine.
President Joe Biden says in a guest essay in The New York Times that he's decided to provide the Ukrainians with more advanced rocket systems and munitions that will enable them to more precisely strike key targets on the battlefield. The expectation is that Ukraine could use the rockets in the eastern Donbas region, where they could both intercept Russian artillery and take out Russian positions in towns where fighting is intense, such as Sievierodonetsk. That town 90 miles (145 kilometers) south of the Russian border is in an area that is the last pocket under Ukrainian government control in the Luhansk region of the Donbas.