Larry Kaplow

Talks to revive the Iran nuclear deal begin again Monday in Vienna. It'll be the seventh round of meetings between the United States, Iran, European powers and China but the first in nearly six months.

And a lot has happened since the last round to raise the stakes for any deal.

BAGHDAD — In 2019, thousands of Iraqis started taking part in huge demonstrations to demand change. They called for an end to rampant corruption that is siphoning their country's oil wealth, for better public services like reliable water and electricity, and for a bigger voice in a government.

The protest movement forced out Adil Abdul-Mahdi, then the prime minister, in May 2020, and triggered new elections. On Sunday, Iraqi voters will go to the polls to elect a new parliament for the fifth time since longtime dictator Saddam Hussein was ousted after the U.S. invaded in 2003.

Updated April 5, 2021 at 5:02 PM ET

Both the Biden administration and Iranian leaders say they want to revive the 2015 nuclear agreement. But they're stalled over who should take the first steps — or make the first concessions — to get there.

This week European, Russian and Chinese partners in the agreement will mediate talks in Vienna to try to bring Iran and the U.S. back in. The talks officially start Tuesday and could take days or multiple rounds.

Saeb Erekat, a tenacious negotiator who helped forge some of the few political gains for Palestinians over more than two decades of on-again, off-again talks with Israel but who was ultimately frustrated by the two sides' failure to achieve a final peace settlement, died Tuesday from complications of COVID-19.

Erekat, 65, was being treated in Hadassah University Hospital Ein Kerem, in Jerusalem. His death was announced by his family on Facebook, his Palestinian political party Fatah, and confirmed to NPR by his spokesman, Xavier Abu Eid.

When Westerners think of Beirut, they might rely on dated notions of the city: a 15-year civil war that ended in 1990; a war with Israel and sporadic airstrikes; bombings of the U.S. Marine barracks and the U.S. Embassy; an attack 15 years ago on the prime minister's convoy.

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