Tehran summons Polish diplomat over anti-Iran conference

January 13, 2019

TEHRAN - The Iranian Foreign Ministry on Sunday summoned Polish charge d'affaires to Tehran to protest Poland’s bid to co-host an anti-Iran conference in Warsaw, the ministry announced on Sunday.

The ministry said it summoned Wojciech Unolt to voice protest at a so-called conference on Middle East peace and security with a focus on Iran that the United States is going to co-organize with Poland in Warsaw on February 13 and 14.

Director of the Foreign Ministry Department for Eastern Europe expressed the strong protest of the Islamic Republic to Poland over its cooperation with the U.S. in holding such a conference.

“This is a hostile U.S. move against the Islamic Republic of Iran, and Poland is expected to refrain from keeping the U.S. company in holding such a conference,” the Foreign Ministry website reported.

Poland’s charge  d'affaires offered explanations on the conference and underlined that the summit is not anti-Iran.

The Foreign Ministry tells the Polish charge d'affaires that the planned conference in Warsaw is a “hostile” move by the U.S. against Iran. He said the official stance of Poland is different from those expressed recently by the U.S. officials. 

In turn, the Iranian official described the explanations as insufficient and underlined the need for compensatory actions on the Polish side. 

The Iranian diplomat then added if the actions are not carried out, the Islamic Republic will have no way but to adopt retaliatory measures. 

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a televised interview that the Warsaw meeting would "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."

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called the conference a "desperate anti-Iran circus."

Writing on Twitter, Zarif said, "Reminder to host/participants of anti-Iran conference: those who attended last U.S. anti-Iran show are either dead, disgraced, or marginalized. And Iran is stronger than ever."

Zarif strongly criticized Poland for co-hosting the conference. 

“Polish Govt. can't wash the shame: while Iran saved Poles in WWII, it now hosts desperate anti-Iran circus,” Zarif wrote.

During the World War II, up to two million Polish civilians were arrested by the Soviet secret police and deported to Siberia and Kazakhstan. Many did not survive the long journey (lasting many weeks) by cattle train; many more died during their imprisonment.

Others simply failed to get out after finally being freed from the Soviet gulags. A total of 120,000 Polish people, 3,000 of whom were orphans, escaped from the Soviet Union to Iran, starting a new life in Isfahan.

The Poles entered Iran from the port city of Anzali on the southern coast of the Caspian Sea. Soviet ships docking in Anzali were packed with starving Polish refugees, and they were the lucky ones: Many others died along the way from typhus, typhoid and hunger.
Photos of the Poles and their graveyard in Iran were posted by Zarif in his Friday tweet.

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