EghtesadOnline: Iran’s Foreign Ministry summoned a senior Polish diplomat on Saturday and warned of reciprocal measures after Warsaw announced plans to host a global summit with the United States focused on the Middle East, particularly Iran.
The ministry conveyed its protest to Poland’s Chargé d’Affaires Wojciech Unolt and demanded that the country not side with Washington in pursuing an anti-Iran policy, ISNA quoted an unnamed official as saying.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Friday the summit—to be held in Warsaw on Feb. 13-14—would focus on Middle East stability and security, including on the “important element of making sure that Iran is not a destabilizing influence”.
"Poland’s charge d’affaires provided explanations about the conference and said it is not anti-Iran. He also said Poland’s stance is different than the position recently announced by US officials,” Financial Tribune quoted the report as saying.
Pompeo, who is on an eight-day visit to the Middle East, has said during the tour that the United States is “redoubling” its efforts to pressure Iran.
Relations between Tehran and Washington have again become highly fraught following the decision in May by US President Donald Trump to pull the US out of a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and six major powers and to reimpose sanctions.
“This [event] is a hostile move by the United States against the Islamic Republic of Iran and Poland is expected to refuse to jointly host the conference with America,” the ministry official said, describing the Polish diplomat’s explanations as “unsatisfactory”.
Unolt was told that Iran reserves the right to “reciprocate” in an unspecified way, if the summit goes ahead.
On Friday, Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif criticized Poland for hosting the meeting and wrote on Twitter that “while Iran saved Poles in WWII, it now hosts a desperate anti-Iran circus”,
Zarif was referring to Iran hosting more that 100,000 Polish refugees during the Second World War.
An article published by The National newspaper on Saturday discussed potential reasons behind the US decision to choose the Central European country as the co-host of the conference rather than its traditional US allies like Britain, France or Germany.
“Poland, led by a rightwing populist government, is a longstanding US ally that has better relations with Mr. Trump than key European powers such as Germany and France,” it said.
A US State Department spokesman acknowledged that Poland, like other European nations, supports the Iran nuclear deal from which Trump exited last year.
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, according to The National.
It appears that Warsaw has hedged its bets by siding with Washington, the article read, adding that the US stations a majority of the 900 troops in Poland on a NATO rotation and the NATO ally has requested that the US establish a permanent military base in the country as a bulwark against Russian influence.