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Jabaq Says No Concerns over Sanctions

Health Minister Jamil Jabaq — named to the post by Hizbullah — has said that he has overcome U.S. concerns about his ministry potentially funneling finances to the militant organization by gaining public trust and ensuring transparency.

Jabaq told The Associated Press that although he is not a member, he was picked to the post because Hizbullah has trust in him.

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Once Again, Iraq Caught Up in Tensions between U.S. and Iran

When U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sat down with Iraqi officials in Baghdad last week as tensions mounted between America and Iran, he delivered a nuanced message: If you're not going to stand with us, stand aside.

The message, relayed to The Associated Press by two Iraqi government officials, underscores Iraq's delicate position: Its government is allied with both sides of an increasingly contentious confrontation.

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U.S. Warns Airliners Flying in Persian Gulf amid Iran Tensions

U.S. diplomats warned Saturday that commercial airliners flying over the wider Persian Gulf faced a risk of being "misidentified" amid heightened tensions between the U.S. and Iran.

The warning relayed by U.S. diplomatic posts from the Federal Aviation Administration underlined the risks the current tensions pose to a region crucial to global air travel. It also served as a grim reminder that 30 years ago, the U.S. mistook an Iranian passenger jet for a warplane in the wake of a naval battle with Tehran, killing all 290 people aboard.

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Political Pitfalls: Iran Tests 'America First' Pledge

President Donald Trump won the White House pledging to wind down the nation's many foreign entanglements and put "America First." But as his administration in recent days has sent mixed signals on the prospects of a military conflict with Iran, Trump's campaign trail promise is being put to the test.

With the 2020 election approaching, the political pitfalls ahead for the first-term Republican president could be serious.

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Aid Groups Say Conditions in Northwest Syria at Crisis Point

Dozens of international aid groups say conditions in Syria's northwest have reached "crisis point" and are calling for an immediate end to the fighting.

The aid groups said, in an appeal issued Friday, violence has displaced an estimated 180,000 people in the last two weeks.

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China, Iran Foreign Ministers Meet amid Middle East Tensions

The foreign ministers of China and Iran have met in Beijing amid heightened Middle East tensions and efforts by Tehran to keep its world markets open.

Wang Yi, whose country has been a major customer for Iranian oil, held talks with Mohammad Javad Zarif at the Diaoyutai state guesthouse on Friday.

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Iran's Guard Says it Can Hit Warships in Region

The Latest on developments in the Persian Gulf region and elsewhere in the Mideast amid heightened tensions between the U.S. and Iran.

An official with Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guard says Iranian missiles can "easily reach warships" in the Persian Gulf and elsewhere in the Middle East amid escalating tensions with Washington.

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Iran’s Proxies Including Hizbullah Ensure it Will Never Fight Alone

In the event of war with the United States, Iran "will not be alone."

That message was delivered by the leader of Lebanon's Hizbullah group to a mass rally in Beirut in February marking the 40th anniversary of Iran's Islamic Revolution. "If America launches war on Iran, it will not be alone in the confrontation, because the fate of our region is tied to the Islamic Republic," Hassan Nasrallah said.

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Border Security, Green Card Changes Drive New Trump Proposal

After years of setbacks and stalemates, President Donald Trump will lay out yet another immigration plan as he tries to convince the American public and lawmakers that the nation's legal immigration system should be overhauled.

The latest effort, spearheaded by Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, focuses on beefing up border security and rethinking the green card system so that it would favor people with high-level skills, degrees and job offers instead of relatives of those already in the country.

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5 Lebanese to be Released, 3 Sentenced in UAE Hizbullah Trial

A relative says that a Lebanese man held in the United Arab Emirates on charges of terrorism has been sentenced to life in prison, while five others were ordered released.

The relative of Abdul Rahman Shouman, 39, said the sentences were handed down Wednesday in a state security court in the Emirates. The relative, speaking from Lebanon, refused to be identified for security reasons.

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