Iran says Poland conference divides Europe

Al-Monitor – American officials have chosen a unique location to host a conference on Middle East peace and stability that will focus largely on Iran. Just before he embarked on a tour of Middle Eastern countries to reassure US allies about the administration’s anti-Iran policies, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made the announcement that the conference will be held in Warsaw, Poland. The scheduled conference has been condemned by Iranian officials and others.

In protest, Iran has summoned Warsaw’s top diplomat in the country. Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghassemi said Jan. 13 that “the actions of the Polish government in cooperating and hosting this conference is a mistake, incorrect and unacceptable, and opposed to the positions that the European Union has taken in the last few years.”

Ghassemi continued, “Holding this conference is in some ways an American effort to cause friction and division in the European Union with respect to Iran.” He said that while “old Europe” was trying to protect its relations with Iran, the United States was trying to drive “new Europe” toward adopting anti-Iranian policies. A number of countries in Europe have opposed the US decision to withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and have sought to bypass US sanctions to save the deal, though still unsuccessfully so far.

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