Zarif calls anti-iran meet­ing in Poland a ‘des­per­ate cir­cus’

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Ira­nian For­eign Min­is­ter Mo­ham­mad Javad Zarif crit­i­cized Poland on Fri­day for jointly host­ing an in­ter­na­tional meet­ing with the United States fo­cused on the Mid­dle East, par­tic­u­larly Iran, call­ing it a “des­per­ate anti-iran cir­cus.”

Writ­ing on his Twit­ter ac­count, Zarif said, “Re­minder to host/par­tic­i­pants of anti-iran con­fer­ence: those who at­tended last U.S. anti-iran show are ei­ther dead, dis­graced, or marginal­ized. And Iran is stronger than ever.”

Zarif 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.

“Pol­ish Govt can’t wash the shame: while Iran saved Poles in WWII, it now hosts a des­per­ate anti-iran cir­cus,” he tweeted.

He also posted a pic­ture of the 1996 “Sum­mit of Peace­mak­ers” in the Egyp­tian sum­mit of Sharm el-sheikh in­volv­ing then US pres­i­dent, Bill Clinton, Is­raeli prime min­is­ter, Shi­mon Peres, and Egyp­tian leader, Hosni Mubarak.

Clinton had spear­headed the con­fer­ence to boost Peres after a wave of at­tacks in Is­rael claimed by Pales­tinian re­sis­tance move­ment Ha­mas.

Ear­lier on Fri­day Sec­re­tary of State Mike Pom­peo an­nounced that the meet­ing would be held in Warsaw from Feb. 13-14 and would fo­cus on sta­bil­ity and se­cu­rity in the Mid­dle East, in­clud­ing on the “im­por­tant el­e­ment of mak­ing sure that Iran is not a desta­bi­liz­ing in­flu­ence.”

“We’ll bring to­gether dozens of coun­tries from all around the world,” Pom­peo said.

A State De­part­ment spokesman ac­knowl­edged that Poland, like other Eu­ro­pean na­tions, sup­ports the in­ter­na­tional ac­cord from which Trump ex­ited last year on curb­ing the Ira­nian nu­clear pro­gram in re­turn for eco­nomic sanc­tions.

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.

Poland, led by a rightwing pop­ulist govern­ment, is a long­stand­ing US ally that has bet­ter re­la­tions with US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump than key Eu­ro­pean pow­ers Ger­many and France.

Trump has reim­posed sanc­tions on Iran but has found no sup­port among Western gov­ern­ments, which note that Tehran is abid­ing by the United Na­tions-backed nu­clear ac­cord.

Sec­re­tary of Iran’s Supreme Na­tional Se­cu­rity Coun­cil Ali Shamkhani also re­acted to the US an­nounce­ment of hold­ing the anti-iran con­fer­ence.

“When some­one who says ‘sanc­tions with max­i­mum pres­sure’ are re­duced to hold­ing ‘sem­i­nars and con­fer­ences’, it only means that he has lost the up­per hand,” Shamkhani told re­porters on Saturday.

AFP and Reuters con­trib­uted to this story.

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