Xinhua Middle East news summary at 2200 GMT, Jan. 23

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TEHRAN -- A senior Iranian Foreign Ministry official said Iran is "not interested" in direct contacts with the new U.S. administration "at the moment," official IRNA news agency reported on Saturday.

"We have no interest in any direct contact (with the U.S.) and we think that the JCPOA (2015 nuclear deal) is the right format for the negotiations," Abbas Araqchi, the political deputy foreign minister, said in an interview with Italian newspaper La Repubblica. (Iran-US Talks-Nuke)

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ISTANBUL -- Turkey launched on Saturday its fifthindigenous frigate produced as part of the MILGEM project, a national warship program.

Istanbul Frigate F-515 was designed with national resources, and over 75 percent of its systems are of indigenous manufacture, according to the Turkish Presidency of Defense Industries. (Turkey-Istanbul Frigate-Warship)

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TEHRAN -- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday that vaccination against the COVID-19 in the country will start in the next few days, official IRNA news agency reported.

Rouhani said that the use of foreign vaccine is necessary before the domestic vaccine is produced. (Iran-COVID19-Vaccine)

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BEIRUT -- The UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) on Saturday offered medical donations, including medical equipment, medicines, sterilizers and personal protection equipment, to people living in southeastern Lebanon.

Nada Hamad, a physician as the representative of the Lebanese Ministry of Health in Hasbaya District in southeastern Lebanon, received the medical donations from the UN peacekeepers, a UNIFIL media source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity. (Lebanon-UN Donations-COVID19) Enditem

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