By Mahmoud Hakamian
On 22nd November 2018, Pompeo (the foreign minister of US) was at a university in Cairo (as part of his travel around the Middle East) where he announced the United States’ plan of holding a conference on 13th and 14th February in Poland; in which important issues of the Middle East, especially Iran’s influence in the region, will be discussed.
Shortly after, this news was quickly spread all over Iran’s mainstream media.
The main purpose of this conference is to counter the terrorism and war mongering of Iran’s regime of mullahs.
In Pompeo’s words: “countering Iran’s terrorism, which is one of the biggest threats in the region, is of a unique importance to the president of the United States. We are determined to unite with many countries and create a global coalition, in our Warsaw conference. We want to prove to the world how determined we are in subverting terrorism and improving livelihoods”.
Iran’s stance on this conference
Besides Khamenei, Rouhani, Ali Larijani (the head of the parliament) and Sadegh Larijani, almost all parliamentarians have taken a stance against the upcoming conference. For instance, Shamkhani (the Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council) has commented that: “when you see the United States resorting from heavy sanctions to global conferences, you clearly know they’ve lost the battle”. (January 12th, 2019).
On the same day, Zarif called the planned conference nothing but a “desperate circus”.
Many of the officials, have deemed the role of People’s Mojahedin of Iran (PMOIs) in this conference, as significant. For example, Alaeddin Boroujerdi (a member of the parliament in the Foreign Policy and National Security Committee) has labelled them as “a piece of the United States’ puzzle”. (January 15th, 2019). He has also stated that the upcoming conference in Warsaw shows just how persistent Americans are in their “anti-Iran” sentiments.
Ali Khoram, a reformist politician and a former advisor of Iran’s Foreign Ministry, has also spoken up in this regard, inferring that “if the conference does take place, it will be treated as an unwritten international rule by which other countries can also stand against Iran”.
Naghavi Hosseini, a conservative politician has predicted that Russia won’t be attending the conference, not just because of its connection with the Islamic Republic of Iran, but also because of its awareness of the United States’ conspiracies against Iran.
Where Russia and other European countries stand on this issue
On January 21st, Mogherini clarified that given her upcoming travel to the African Union Summit, she will be unable to attend the upcoming conference in Warsaw.
With regards to Russia, it’s believed that it has been invited to Warsaw conference, but has declined the offer.
France has also announced that its senior diplomats won’t be attending the conference (which could mean that some French officials may still participate, but at a lower level).
Germany and England are yet to confirm their attendance.
The actions of Iran’s regime thus far
On January13th 2018, the regime’s foreign ministry summoned a senior Polish diplomat to protest at Poland jointly hosting this global “anti-Iran” summit.
Following which, Iran’s embassy ambassador in Poland, met with Poland’s Deputy Foreign Minister, sharing “Iran’s concerns around the upcoming discussion regarding peace and stability in Middle East”.
On January14th 2018, Poland’s Foreign Ministry replied: “In our opinion, every country has the right to discuss various regional and global topics, and we also have the right to hold this conference, which aims to create stability across the Middle East”.
The spokesperson of Iran’s Foreign Ministry commented back, saying that Poland has no right to host this conference, as it offends an independent government (meaning Iran).
Finally, Poland’s Foreign Minister concluded that it will not be inviting Iran to attend this conference because its presence may interfere with the debate. (January 21st, 2019)
The take of Iranian experts on this issue
The so called right wing is continuing to ignore the importance of Warsaw conference; for instance, Mehdi Mohammadi (a former parliamentarian) said on TV: “we’re not convinced that this conference is even real. It seems to be more of a psychological warfare than anything else”.
Adding that the main purpose of this conference, is to create a rift between the European countries and cause conflict in the Eastern and Western regions. Which will have many negative consequences, especially on Germany’s upcoming conference in Munich.
Another politician has said that the attendance of more than 70 countries in the upcoming conference, can have a significant impact on the world’s perspective on Iran. The US is attempting to influence these countries via Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Emirates; and the regime clearly lacks the power to face them all.
The so called left wing on the other hand, admit that the conference is to be taken seriously; Ali Khoram states: “the conference that extremists like Mike Pompeo and John Bolton have spoken of, will aim to inform the world of the hostile moves that the US is planning against us”.