Wednesday, 20 March, 2019

Tehran Warns Poland: Don't Side with U.S. Against Iran

Iran warns Poland against hosting upcoming summit on Tehran's regional influence Tehran Warns Poland: Don't Side with U.S. Against Iran
Steven Clarke | 14 January, 2019, 12:21

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Angered by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's announcement that Poland will host an worldwide conference on Iran in mid-February, Iranian authorities on Sunday summoned Warsaw's top diplomat in the country and called off a Polish film festival.

"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 in Doha.

Pointing to the historical ties between Tehran and Warsaw, the Polish charge d'affaires said he would convey Iran's message to Polish officials.

The statement quoted an unnamed Iranian official as saying that if the summit goes ahead, Iran will resort to unspecified "counter-action" toward Poland. Among the Mideast leaders invited was Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose attendance might complicate participation by some Arab countries.

The Polish foreign ministry could not be reached for comment.

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

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Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri said the summit was being held because U.S. sanctions had failed to bring Iran to its knees.

Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz said on Saturday that he hoped the conference would be an important tool for global dialogue between the European Union and United States to find common ground in their positions towards Iran.

He made the announcement in an interview during a regional tour aimed at reassuring USA allies after President Donald Trump's shock decision to withdraw all American troops from Syria, which sparked concerns that Iran's influence could grow.

The secretary emphasized that the participants would also debate on how to make sure Iran was not a "destabilising influence" in the region.

"Reminder to host/participants of anti-Iran conference: those who attended last USA anti-Iran show are dead, disgraced or marginalized".

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has denounced the planned event in Poland as a "desperate anti-Iran circus".

A State Department spokesman acknowledged that Poland, like other European nations, supports the worldwide accord from which Mr Trump exited previous year on ending the Iranian nuclear program.

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