Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in the Middle East

Associated Press
U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel speaks to military service members aboard the USS Ponce in Manama, Bahrain, Friday, Dec. 6, 2013. Standing on the massive deck of the Navy’s USS Ponce, Hagel said the U.S. is entering the new nuclear pact with Iran “very clear eyed” and it remains to be see whether Tehran is serious about keeping its development peaceful. (AP Photo by Mark Wilson, Pool)

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Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel toured an anti-mine warfare ship in the U.S. Fifth Fleet on Friday to underscore U.S. commitment to Middle East security despite policy differences over Iran and Syria that have angered Washington's longtime Gulf allies.

His visit to Bahrain, in which he will also speak at the Manama Dialogue security conference, came at a time of regional unease over President Barack Obama's policies ranging from the cautious U.S. response to Syria's civil war to the six world powers' interim deal with Iran on its nuclear program. (Reuters)

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