Iran protests to Poland over Iran-focused summit

Published:Sunday, January 13, 2019
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Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif delivers his statement, during the Geneva Conference on Afghanistan, at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, November 28, 2018. Salvatore Di Nolfi/Pool via REUTERS

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

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Friday the summit — to be held in Warsaw on Feb. 13-14 — would focus on stability and security in the Middle East, including on 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, IRNA added.

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

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

Relations between Tehran and Washington are highly fraught following the decision in May by President Donald Trump to pull the U.S. out of a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and six major powers and to reimpose sanctions.

Reporting by Dubai newsroom; Editing by Kim Coghill

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