Date :Sunday, January 13th, 2019 | Time : 07:40 |ID: 83364 | Print

Anti-Iran conference to be held by the US: Why in Warsaw?

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SHAFAQNA | By Leila Yazdani : Warsaw will host dozens of countries on February at the request of the US to build pressure on Tehran. The summit was denounced by Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif.

US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, on his eight-country tour of the Middle East, announced a global summit to address the threat posed by Iran, bringing together countries from across the world. But the gathering will take place in a lesser renowned location than usual – Warsaw. More than 70 countries were invited to the conference, including all EU members.

Poland’s capital will be the site where dozens of countries are to gather at the February 13-14 meeting to “focus on Middle East stability and peace and freedom and security here in this region,” he said on Friday, The National reported.

Since withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal last year, the US administration has steadily ratcheted up pressure on Tehran and vowed to increase it until Iran halts what US officials describe as its malign activities throughout the Mideast and elsewhere. As part of its policy of maximum pressure, U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo brought the Trump administration’s anti-Iran message to Persian Gulf Arab states and, then United States plans to jointly host a global conference.

Describing summit as a “desperate circus”

Iran poured scorn on the meeting and pointed out that the country, then impoverished after invasion by Britain and the Soviet Union, welcomed more than 100,000 Polish refugees during World War II.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has lashed out at an anti-Iran conference, describing it as a desperate circus that will disgrace the participants.

“Reminder to host/participants of anti-Iran conference: those who attended last US anti-Iran show are either dead, disgraced, or marginalized. And Iran is stronger than ever”, Zarif said in a Friday tweet.

“Polish Govt can’t wash the shame: while Iran saved Poles in WWII, it now hosts a desperate anti-Iran circus,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted.

The Iranian Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council reacted to the US’ announcement of holding an anti-Iran conference and said, the US has lost the upper hand.

Rear Admiral Ali Shamkhani added, when someone who says “sanctions with maximum pressure” is reduced to holding “seminars and conferences”, it only means that he has lost the upper hand, Iran Press reported.

Polish refugees in Iran, starting a new life in Isfahan

During the World War II, up to two million Polish civilians were arrested by the Soviet secret police and deported to Siberia and Kazakhstan. Many did not survive the long journey (lasting many weeks) by cattle train; many more died during their imprisonment, abudhabinews mentioned.

Others simply failed to get out after finally being freed from the Soviet gulags. A total of 120,000 Polish people, 3,000 of whom were orphans, escaped from the Soviet Union to Iran, starting a new life in Isfahan.

Photos of the Poles and their graveyard in Iran were posted by Zarif in his Friday tweet.

Why is Poland Washington’s choice?

Why is Poland Washington’s choice for its Iran-focused global summit? Why the EU member state of Poland and not traditional US allies such as Britain, France or Germany?

Poland, led by a right-wing populist government, is a longstanding US ally that has better relations with Trump than key European powers such as Germany and France.

Mike Pompeo has criticised a series of European leaders and Washington even moved to downgrade the European Union mission’s diplomatic status in the US last week, without informing Brussels.

It appears that Warsaw has hedged its bets by siding with Washington. The US stations the majority of the 900 troops in Poland on a Nato rotation and the Nato ally has requested that the US establish a permanent military base in the country as a bulwark against Russian influence.

So, by hosting this summit on behalf of the US, Poland looks like it stands to gain in more ways than one as long as Trump remains in office.

A State Department spokesman acknowledged that Poland, like other European nations, supports the international accord from which Trump exited last year on ending the Iranian nuclear program. The Warsaw meeting “sends an important signal that countries with differing views on the nuclear deal can come together to address other critical issues in the region,” the spokesman said.

Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz saying in a statement that while his country supported the EU’s efforts to maintain the nuclear deal, the agreement “does not stop Iran from activities destabilising the region” and he hoped the conference would bring closer the EU and US positions.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been also invited to the US-Poland sponsored summit with world leaders on Iran next month, i24news reported. Netanyahu has reportedly not decided if he will attend or not.

The report suggested Netanyahu considers attending the summit to boost his election campaign by appearing among a number of foreign ministers from the Arab Gulf states who have also been invited.


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