Tehran protests to War­saw over Iran-fo­cused sum­mit

The Daily Star (Lebanon) - - REGION -

DUBAI: Iran’s For­eign Min­istry sum­moned a se­nior Pol­ish diplo­mat to protest at Poland jointly host­ing a global sum­mit with the United States fo­cused on the Mid­dle East, par­tic­u­larly Iran, state news agency IRNA re­ported Sun­day.

U.S. Sec­re­tary of State Mike Pom­peo Fri­day said the sum­mit – to be held in War­saw on Feb. 13-14 – would fo­cus on sta­bil­ity in the Mid­dle East, in­clud­ing the “im­por­tant el­e­ment of mak­ing sure that Iran is not a desta­bi­liz­ing in­flu­ence.”

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

“Poland’s charge d’af­faires pro­vided ex­pla­na­tions about the con­fer­ence and said it was not an­tiIran,” 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 U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump to with­draw from a 2015 nu­clear deal be­tween Iran and world pow­ers and to reim­pose sanc­tions, in­clud­ing on Iran’s oil sec­tor.

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 host­ing more that 100,000 Pol­ish refugees dur­ing World War II.

Ira­nian Vice Pres­i­dent Eshaq Ja­hangiri said the sum­mit was be­ing held be­cause U.S. sanc­tions had failed to bring Iran to its knees. Mean­while, a cul­tural of­fi­cial said that a planned Pol­ish Film Week in Iran would be can­celled if the sum­mit plans are not dropped. –

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