Polish meeting means opponents have lost Iran case: Shamkhani
Zarif says Poland “can’t wash the shame” for agreeing to host anti-Iran summit
TEHRAN — Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, says for enemies looking forward to an anti-Iran summit means that they have lost their case against the country.
“Someone who [used to] talk about strongest sanctions, when they resort to seminars and congresses it means they have lost the case,” Shamkhani said on Saturday in reaction to reports that Poland is going to host an anti-Iran summit next month.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox News in an interview aired on Friday that Washington will jointly host a global summit focused on Iran and the Middle East next month in Poland.
The gathering will take place in Warsaw from February 13 to 14, the U.S. State Department said in a statement.
Pompeo said the meeting would “focus on Middle East stability and peace, freedom and security here in this region, and that includes an important element of making sure that Iran is not a destabilizing influence”.
Since withdrawing from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal last year, the U.S. administration has steadily ratcheted up pressure on Tehran and vowed to increase it until Iran halts what U.S. calls Iran’s “malign activities” throughout the Mideast and elsewhere.
As part of its policy of maximum pressure, Washington in early November re-imposed what it called the harshest-ever sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
■ Zarif reminds host, participants of futile 1996 Sharm el Sheikh ‘show’
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also lashed out at the 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 U.S. anti-Iran show are either dead, disgraced, or marginalized. And Iran is stronger than ever,” Zarif said in a Friday tweet.
Zarif also strongly criticized the Polish government for agreeing to host the conference, reminding Warsaw of thousands of Polish refugees saved by Iran during the Second World War.
“Polish Govt. can’t wash the shame: while Iran saved Poles in WWII, it now hosts desperate anti-Iran circus,” Zarif remarked.
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.
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.
The Poles entered Iran from the port city of Anzali on the southern coast of the Caspian Sea. Soviet ships docking in Anzali were packed with starving Polish refugees, and they were the lucky ones: Many others died along the way from typhus, typhoid and hunger.
Photos of the Poles and their graveyard in Iran were posted by Zarif in his Friday tweet.
Zarif also included a photograph from the 1996 “Summit of Peacemakers” in Sharm el Sheikh in Egypt.
The photo showed Jordan’s King Hussein, Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres, U.S. President Bill Clinton, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Russian President Boris Yeltsin and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, among other world leaders.
Zarif’s deputy, Abbas Araqchi, also posted a photo of the Polish cemetery in Iran, stressing that Iran had welcomed the polish refugees of WWII.
Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, the chairman of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, also reacted to the news, saying the upcoming event in Poland will turn out to be a “scene of defeat” for the U.S.
He said that he believed U.S. media outlets will react to the White House initiative for falling in line with efforts to cause instability in the Middle East.
He added that Pompeo is a senior intelligence officer with a mission to “cover up America’s operational defeats via psychological operations”, including by taking such measures against Iran.
“Polish Govt. can’t wash the shame: while Iran saved Poles in WWII, it now hosts desperate anti-Iran circus,” Zarif tweets.