Deputy FM condemns anti-Iran conference in Poland

FNA – Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Seyed Abbas Araqchi deplored the Polish government for its decision to hold a US-backed anti-Iran conference next month, describing it as an instance of Warsaw’s ungratefulness as Tehran hosted and helped thousands of Polish nationals during the World War II to return home.

“(Bodies of) 1892 Polish nationals have been resting in the Polish graveyard in the heart of Tehran since 1942,” Araqchi wrote on his twitter page on Saturday.

He noted that over 100,000 Polish people returned home via Iran from Stalin’s concentration camps, and said, “In Iran, the graveyards can be replaced (and prepared for new corpses) after 30 years but the people of Tehran have respected their guests (the bodies of those Polish people died in Iran during their stay) for 77 years.”

His comments came after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox News in an interview to air on Friday that Washington will jointly host a global summit focused on Iran and the Middle East next month in Poland.

The international gathering will take place in Warsaw from February 13 to 14, the US State Department said in a statement.

In September 1939, Nazi Germany invaded Poland, marking the beginning of World War II. As part of Germany’s nonaggression pact with the Soviet Union, Eastern Poland was occupied and annexed by the USSR.

Approximately 1.25 million Poles were deported to various parts of the Soviet Union, including half a million “socially dangerous” Poles who were packed into trains and shipped to labor camps in Kazakhstan and Siberia. Thousands died of exhaustion, disease and malnutrition.

When Germany reneged on its pact and invaded the Soviet Union less than two years later, the Soviets were compelled to side with the Allies. An agreement was signed to reestablish the Polish state and form an army from the Poles held in the USSR.

Crossing the Caspian Sea in crowded boats, over 116,000 Polish people arrived in Anzali port in Northern Iran, where they were fed and quarantined — malaria, typhus and starvation-related ailments were widespread. Many died and were buried in Iran.

Those who survived were transported to Tehran, where they were warmly welcomed by the Iranian government. Buildings were repurposed to house them, and Polish schools, businesses, and cultural organizations were established. People who had spent years in freezing and disease-ridden conditions now had clean beds and plenty of food.