Iran summons Polish envoy over upcoming summit in Warsaw

Pompeo had a working lunch with King Hamad Crown Prince Salman and Foreign Minister Sheikh Khaled bin Ahmad Al Khalifa in Bahrain. — File

The move came shortly after the Iranian Foreign Ministry on Sunday summoned the Polish Charges D'Affairs, Wojciech Unolt, to protest an Iran-focused conference in Warsaw next month.

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

In a statement, the ministry said it lodged an official protest with Warsaw for hosting the event.

They will "focus on Middle East stability and peace and freedom and security here in this region, and that includes an important element of making sure that Iran is not a destabilizing influence", the top USA diplomat said.

The Polish foreign ministry could not be reached for comment.

Pompeo said Friday that the USA was organizing an global summit in Poland focusing on Iran's Middle Eastern influence. The balance of trade between the two nations was $230 million in 2017, up from 80 million in 2015 when Iran and world powers agreed to a landmark nuclear deal that curbed Tehran's nuclear program in return for lifting harsh economic sanctions.

Iran's foreign ministry has summoned the Polish envoy to the country following an announcement by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that Poland will host an worldwide conference on Iran and the Middle East in mid-February.

Speaking Sunday on a visit to Qatar as part of the tour, said he hoped the meeting in Poland will allow the world to see "the enormous coalition that is prepared to assist in creating stability and peace here in the Middle East".

On Friday Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif criticised 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".

Since withdrawing from the nuclear deal a year ago, the administration has steadily ratcheted up pressure on Tehran and routinely accuses the nation of being the most destabilizing influence in the region.

"Americans thought pressures would break down our economy", the semi-official news agency Fars quoted Jahangiri as saying. "Now they've chose to hold an anti-Iran conference in Europe".

According to the statement, the Polish diplomat, for his part, said that the summit's agenda was not anti-Iranian and that Warsaw's stance on the issue was different from recent statements made by United States officials.

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

"To protect the honour of Iran and Iranians, the holding of the Polish Film Week will depend on Warsaw's appropriate behaviour".

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