Iran Not Invited, Russia Snubs Mideast Conference In Warsaw, Poland Says
By RFE/RL January 21, 2019
Iran has not been invited to a global conference on the Middle East in Warsaw next month and Russia has declined the invitation, Poland's foreign minister says.
Jacek Czaputowicz said in remarks published on January 21 that Iran's presence at the event would have hampered talks because the language that Tehran uses was "hard to accept."
He said Russia had advised that it will not participate in the February 13-14 meeting co-hosted by Poland and the United States.
The gathering could help solve the impasse over the 2015 nuclear agreement between Tehran and world powers on curbing Iran's nuclear ambitions, according to the Polish minister.
President Donald Trump announced in May 2018 that the United States was leaving the accord and his administration later moved to impose tough economic sanctions on Iran.
EU foreign-policy chief Federica Mogherini has said that she will not attend the ministerial meeting in Warsaw, which Washington said would "focus on Middle East stability and peace and freedom and security here in this region."
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the meeting will also include "an important element of making sure that Iran is not a destabilizing influence."
Iran has protested the conference, calling it a "hostile" action against Iran while warning that Tehran could resort to unspecified "counteraction" toward Poland.
Iranian media reported on January 21 that Deputy Polish Foreign Minister Maciej Lan traveled to the Iranian capital to discuss the conference with his Iranian counterpart, Abbas Araqchi.
"The Polish government should realize the true intentions of the American government with this conference and be careful about its consequences," Araqchi told Lan, according to Iranian media.
He also said that Iran will not allow any country in or outside the region to form a coalition against its interests.
With reporting by IRNA, Tasnim, AP, and Reuters
Copyright (c) 2019. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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