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American Freed in Yemen as Oman Hosts 'Secret' U.S. Talks

An American among several believed held by Huthis in Yemen was freed and receiving treatment Tuesday in neighboring Oman, which has been hosting talks between Washington and the Iran-backed Shiite rebels.

A diplomat in Muscat said the talks between the Americans and the Huthis were aimed at promoting a proposed peace conference in Geneva, which the United Nations has so far failed to persuade the warring parties to attend.

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Afghan Taliban Delegation in Iran for Talks

A delegation from the Afghan Taliban's Qatar-based political office is in Tehran for talks, Iranian media reported Tuesday.

The visitors, headed by Tayyab Agha, head of the political bureau, met Iranian security officials and discussed regional issues, "particularly developments in the Islamic world," Tasnim news agency said.

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Obama Offers Gulf Allies 'Ironclad' Security Pledge

President Barack Obama tried to reassure America's Gulf allies Thursday that engaging with Iran would not come at their expense, at a Camp David summit that proved short on concrete outcomes.

Pledging to counter external threats to Gulf states amid Iran's growing role in the region, Obama said his security commitment to the decades-old allies was "ironclad."  

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Copies of Famous Artworks Replace Ads on Tehran Billboards

In an unusual move by Tehran's mayor, hundreds of copies of famous artworks — both of world masters and Iranian artists — have been plastered on some 1,500 billboards across the city, transforming the Iranian capital into a gigantic, open-air exhibition.

The 10-day project, which ends Friday, has stirred both appreciation and criticism. But whether people like it or not, the message is simple, according to Ehsun Fathipour.

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Iran Determined to End 'Manufactured' Nuclear Crisis

Iran is determined to end the "manufactured crisis" over its nuclear program and drafting of a final deal with world powers, though hard, is progressing, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Monday.

The remarks, on Zarif's official Twitter account, came two days after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry denounced what he said was "hysteria" from opponents of an agreement, which is due by June 30.

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Iran, World Powers Seek to Finalize Nuclear Deal

Iran and major powers held a second day of talks Thursday seeking to finalize a historic deal that would make any attempt by Tehran to make a nuclear weapon extremely difficult and easily detectable.

Meeting in Vienna, Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany want to turn a framework accord reached in Switzerland on April 2 into a full agreement by June 30.

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Berri Cancels AIPU Meeting after Saudi Snub

Speaker Nabih Berri has canceled the meeting of the Arab Inter-parliamentary Union (AIPU) that was set to be held in Beirut end of April after he was informed by Saudi Arabia that it would not attend the talks, al-Joumhouria daily reported on Thursday.

Berri informed Arab parliaments that “the conference has been canceled for non-Lebanese reasons,” said al-Joumhouria.

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Tricky Drafting of Iran Nuclear Deal Begins

Iran and major powers on Wednesday began the difficult process of finalizing by June 30 a historic deal putting an Iranian nuclear bomb out of reach, three weeks after agreeing the main outlines.

Following a negotiating marathon in Switzerland, Iran agreed on April 2 to what U.S. President Barack Obama called a "historic understanding... which, if fully implemented, will prevent (Iran) from obtaining a nuclear weapon."

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Rouhani Accuses Riyadh of Providing Arms to 'Terrorists' in Lebanon

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani accused Saudi Arabia on Saturday of providing weapons and funding to terrorist groups in the Middle East, including Lebanon.

"What does providing financial assistance and weapons to terrorists in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq mean?" Rouhani asked.

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Huthi Spiritual Leader Buried in Beirut's Southern Suburbs

The alleged spiritual leader of Shiite Huthi rebels in Yemen has been reportedly buried in Hizbullah's stronghold of Beirut's southern suburbs.

Sheikh Abdul Malek al-Shami was laid to rest on Monday near the grave of Hizbullah's military commander Imad Mughniyeh, who was killed in a 2008 car bomb blast in the Syrian capital Damascus.

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