Iran protests to Poland over plans for ‘anti-Tehran summit’

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaks during a joint press conference with his French counterpart Laurent Fabius following their talks in Tehran

Zarif was referring to Iran hosting of more than 100,000 Polish refugees during the Second World War.

Separately, Iran's culture ministry in a statement said it was suspending "Poland's Film Week", supposed to be held in Tehran in late January, until Warsaw reconsiders its position and starts demonstrating "appropriate behavior" toward Tehran.

An Iranian foreign ministry official told Poland's Chargé d'Affaires in Tehran, Wojciech Unoltin, that Iran saw the meeting as a "hostile act against Iran" and warned that Tehran could reciprocate, the official IRNA newsagency reported.

The statement quoted an unnamed Iranian official as saying that if the summit goes ahead, Iran will resort to unspecified "counter-action" toward Poland, without elaborating.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry summoned Sunday Poland's charge d'affaires to lodge Tehran's protest over an upcoming "anti-Iran" global summit on the Middle East.

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

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Pompeo's trip to the Middle East this week is aimed at bolstering support for President Donald Trump's policy in the region and spans a whole range of issues, including USA troop withdrawal from Syria, the Saudi-led blockade of Qatar and the killing of a US-based journalist.

The event will take place on February 13 and 14. "And Iran is stronger than ever", Zarif wrote on Friday.

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".

In a speech entitled "A Force for Good: America's Reinvigorated Role in the Middle East", Pompeo accused the former president of "misguided" thinking that diminished America's role in the region while harming its longtime friends and emboldening Iran.

While Poland has supported the EU's attempts to hold onto the landmark nuclear deal after US President Donald Trump pulled Washington out of the agreement, Warsaw has expressed the belief that the deal alone would not stop Iran from "destabilizing" the region. It has vowed to increase the pressure until Iran halts what USA officials describe as its "malign activities" throughout the Mideast and elsewhere, including support for rebels in Yemen, anti-Israel groups, and Syrian President Bashar Assad.

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