Iran sum­mons Pol­ish diplo­mat over sum­mit in War­saw

The Jerusalem Post - - INTERNATIONAL NEWS -

DUBAI (Reuters) – Iran’s for­eign min­istry sum­moned a se­nior Pol­ish diplo­mat to protest Poland, which is jointly host­ing a global sum­mit with the United States that is fo­cused on the Mid­dle East and Iran, state news agency IRNA re­ported on Sun­day.

US Sec­re­tary of State Mike Pom­peo on Fri­day said that the sum­mit, which is to be held in War­saw from Fe­bru­ary 13-14, would fo­cus on sta­bil­ity and se­cu­rity in the Mid­dle East, in­clud­ing of mak­ing sure “that Iran is not a desta­bi­liz­ing in­flu­ence.”

An Ira­nian for­eign min­istry of­fi­cial told Poland’s charge d’af­faires that Iran saw the de­ci­sion to host the meet­ing as a “hos­tile act against Iran” and warned that it could re­cip­ro­cate.

“Poland’s charge d’af­faires pro­vided ex­pla­na­tions about the con­fer­ence and said it was not anti-Iran,” the agency added.

The Pol­ish for­eign min­istry could not be reached for com­ment.

Re­la­tions be­tween Tehran and Wash­ing­ton are highly fraught after the de­ci­sion in May by US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump to with­draw from a 2015 nu­clear deal be­tween Iran and world pow­ers and to reim­pose sanc­tions.

On Sun­day, Pom­peo said that the aims of the sum­mit would in­clude chang­ing the “be­hav­ior” of Iran, which Wash­ing­ton ac­cuses of desta­bi­liz­ing the re­gion and sup­port­ing ter­ror­ism. Tehran de­nies the ac­cu­sa­tions and says that a US mil­i­tary pres­ence in the Mid­dle East causes ten­sions and in­sta­bil­ity.

“We will gather around a num­ber of dif­fer­ent top­ics ... fight­ing ISIS is part of that ... and ad­dress how we can get the Is­lamic Repub­lic of Iran to be­have like a nor­mal na­tion,” Pom­peo told re­porters, speak­ing in Doha, Qatar.

“There will be coun­tries from Asia, Africa and all across the world. It won’t be con­fined to the US, Europe and the Mid­dle East.”

The United States and its re­gional ally Saudi Ara­bia back op­pos­ing sides in the con­flicts in Ye­men and Syria as well as ri­val po­lit­i­cal groups in Iraq and Le­banon.

On Fri­day, Ira­nian For­eign Min­is­ter Mo­ham­mad Javad Zarif crit­i­cized Poland for host­ing the meet­ing and wrote on Twit­ter: “Pol­ish Govt can’t wash the shame: while Iran saved Poles in WWII, it now hosts des­per­ate anti-Iran cir­cus.”

Zarif was re­fer­ring to Iran, who hosted more that 100,000 Pol­ish refugees dur­ing the Sec­ond World War.

Ira­nian Vice Pres­i­dent Eshaq Ja­hangiri said the sum­mit was be­ing held be­cause US sanc­tions failed to bring Iran to its knees.

“Amer­i­cans thought pres­sures would break down our econ­omy. They wanted to bring our oil ex­ports to zero but failed ... now they’ve de­cided to hold an anti-Iran con­fer­ence in Europe,” the semi-of­fi­cial news agency Fars quoted Ja­hangiri as say­ing.

Mean­while, a cul­tural of­fi­cial said that a planned Pol­ish Film Week in Iran would be can­celed if the sum­mit plans are not dropped.

“Ira­ni­ans have hosted var­i­ous na­tions and eth­nic groups with open arms, es­pe­cially the Poles,” Hos­sein En­tezami, head of the Cin­ema Or­ga­ni­za­tion of Iran, said on Twit­ter.

“To pro­tect the honor of Iran and Ira­ni­ans, the hold­ing of the Pol­ish Film Week will de­pend on War­saw’s ap­pro­pri­ate be­hav­ior,” he added.

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