Zarif says Warsaw meeting ‘dead on arrival’

February 13, 2019

TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Wednesday that a two-day conference being co-hosted by U.S. and Poland in Warsaw on Iran and the larger Middle East was “dead on arrival”.

“It is another attempt by the United States to pursue an obsession with Iran that is not well-founded,” Zarif told the representatives of foreign news outlets in Tehran, according to Outlet India.

Zarif said not even Washington had any interest in the conference as a forum for an exchange of views among the 60 participating countries.

“I think the fact that they are not aiming to issue any agreed text but rather are just attempting to use their own statement on behalf of everybody else shows they don’t have any respect for it themselves,” the chief diplomat remarked.

“You usually don’t bring 60 countries and states together in order to speak for them. That indicates to you that they don’t believe they have anything to gain from this meeting.”

On Wednesday, much of the schedule for the conference still remained vague amid deep divisions over policy towards the region, where Washington has adopted the deep hostility towards Iran of its allies Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Washington was represented by both Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, but major European allies sent low-profile delegations amid unease over President Donald Trump’s strident calls to strangle Iran’s economy.

The main session was to take place on Thursday when Pence, Pompeo and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were all scheduled to address the conference.

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