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Tehran summons Polish diplomat over ‘desperate anti-Iran’ summit in Warsaw

Tehran summons Polish diplomat over ‘desperate anti-Iran’ summit in Warsaw
Iran’s Foreign Ministry summoned a senior Polish diplomat on Sunday to protest against a global Middle East summit in Warsaw, which will seemingly tackle Tehran in line with American policy.

Iranian officials conveyed a formal message of protest to the Polish side for cooperating with the US over the planned meeting, according to local news agency IRNA. Tehran suspects that the upcoming forum with have a clear anti-Iran slant.

Known as the ‘Mideast Peace Ministerial,’ the meeting is scheduled for February 13-14, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Friday. In an interview with Fox News, Pompeo said that the summit will focus on stability and security in the region, while also “making sure that Iran is not a destabilizing influence.”

Pompeo’s announcement provoked a furious reaction from Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who branded the upcoming event a “desperate anti-Iran circus.”

US-Iranian relations hit rock bottom after President Donald Trump announced Washington’s withdrawal from the “decaying and rotten” nuclear deal in May, reinstating sanctions against the Islamic Republic. In November, Pompeo said that the sanctions will remain in force until Iran behaves like a “normal” country. He repeated this line on January 10 in a speech in Cairo, adding that the US and its allies would continue “the work to constrain the full array of the regime’s malign activity.”

The European partners of the Iran nuclear deal, including the UK, France and Germany, have opted not to withdraw from the agreement to date. However, earlier in January, the EU froze assets belonging to Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security over allegations of assassination plots in Europe.

Some US allies in Europe, however, may be willing to follow Washington’s lead and increase pressure on Iran. On Friday, Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz said he hopes the Warsaw summit would bring the EU and US positions closer, adding that the current nuclear deal “does not stop Iran from activities destabilizing the region.”

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In recent years, the Polish government has been actively working to position itself as one of America’s main military allies. The country already hosts the majority of the 4,000 troops and 2,000 vehicles from the US Brigade Combat Team that is stationed in Eastern Europe. An American Aegis Ashore missile-defense system is also expected to be installed in Poland around 2020.

However, Warsaw insists that it needs an even greater US military presence to deter the so-called Russian threat. In September, Polish President Andrzej Duda visited Washington and promised to spend $2 billion on the construction of a permanent American base in the country, which will be named ‘Fort Trump’ if Donald Trump greenlights the project.

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