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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says sanctions may lead to drugs, refugee, bomb ‘deluge’

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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani predicted a “deluge” of drugs, refugees and attacks on the West if U.S. sanctions weaken Iran’s ability to contain them.

“I warn those who impose sanctions that if Iran’s ability to fight drugs and terrorism are affected … you will not be safe from a deluge of drugs, asylum seekers, bombs and terrorism,” Rouhani said in a speech carried live on state television.

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Separately, Foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was quoted as saying that the United States is selling more arms into the Middle East than the region needs, making it a “tinderbox”.

U.S. President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of a multilateral nuclear deal with Iran in May and reimposed sanctions on Iran’s vital oil industry last month.

Drug trafficking is a serious challenge for Iran as it borders Afghanistan – the world’s largest opium producer – and Pakistan, a major transit country for drugs.

In 2012, Iran accounted for two thirds of the world’s opium seizures and one fourth of the world’s heroin and morphine seizures, a U.N. report published in 2014 showed.

“Economic terrorism means creating horror in a country and create fear in other countries that intend to invest (there). America’s withdrawal from the (nuclear accord) is undoubtedly a clear example of economic terrorism,” Rouhani told a meeting of heads of parliaments of China, Russia, and four other countries.

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Zarif warned about the dangers of large U.S. arms sales in the Middle East, where Iran’s regional rival Saudi Arabia is a major buyer of Western weapons.

“The Americans have turned the region into a tinderbox. The level of arms sales by the Americans is unbelievable and much beyond regional needs and this points to the very dangerous policies followed by the Americans,” IRNA reported Zarif as saying.

Reporting by Dubai Newsroom; Editing by Alexander Smith

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Republicans fear Trump’s attack on Yovanovitch ‘backfired’: CNN’s Jim Acosta

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On Monday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta reported that Republicans on Capitol Hill are worried that President Donald Trump's Twitter attack on former Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch during her public testimony in the impeachment hearing only hurt his cause.

"The president will be back to keeping an eye on the impeachment inquiry as the public hearings get underway," said Acosta. "Mr. Trump's fellow Republicans are hopeful he will cease his targeting of administration officials who are testifying. As one Trump campaign source told me over the weekend about the president's attacks late last week, it was not a, quote, 'good day for the GOP.' There are a lot of Republicans who feel like that backfired."

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Nicolle Wallace worries Republicans have had ‘lobotomies of their souls’

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MSNBC anchor Nicolle Wallace on Monday wondered how Republicans could possibly ignore the bombshell revelations in the public testimony and released transcripts that have emerged in the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.

"Beginning tomorrow morning, we'll see two first-hand witnesses to the July 25th call with the leader of Ukraine," Wallace noted. Jennifer Williams, from the vice president's staff, and Alexander Vindman -- both have said they were concerned by what they heard."

The host, who served as White House communications director in the George W. Bush administration, noted that both witnesses "have managed to get under the president's skin."

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Mike Huckabee: It’s ‘tragic’ Chick-fil-A will focus its charitable giving on causes that aren’t anti-LGBTQ – like hunger

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Mike Huckabee is lashing out at the privately-held Christian chicken fast-food chain he repeatedly has defended for its anti-LGBTQ charitable giving policies. Chick-fil-A announced Monday it will no longer donate to the Salvation Army and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, two non-profits that have histories of actively working against LGBTQ people and causes like marriage equality.

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