Iran warns Poland against hosting upcoming summit on Tehran's regional influence

US president Donald Trump left and Polish president Andrzej Duda shake hands during their meeting at the Royal Castle on Thursday

Pompeo kicked off the Gulf portion of his tour after a stop in Cairo, where he delivered a scathing rebuke of former president Barack Obama's Middle East policies that Obama had outlined in a 2009 address to the Arab and broader Muslim world.

Poland's capital will be the site where dozens of countries are to gather at the February 13-14 meeting to "focus on Middle East stability and peace and freedom and security here in this region", he said on Friday.

An Iranian foreign ministry official told Poland's charge d'affaires in Tehran that Iran saw the decision to host the meeting as a "hostile act against Iran" and warned that Tehran could reciprocate, IRNA added.

Pointing to the historical ties between Tehran and Warsaw, the Polish charge d'affaires said he would convey Iran's message to Polish officials. Among the Mideast leaders invited was Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose attendance might complicate participation by some Arab countries.

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.

The Polish foreign ministry could not be reached for comment, Reuters news agency said.


Zarif has also reminded Poland of the favor that Iran has done the Polish during the second world war, noting, "Polish government can't wash the shame: while Iran saved Poles in WWII, it now hosts desperate anti-Iran circus".

Iranian Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri said the summit was being held because United States sanctions had failed to bring Iran to its knees.

Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz said on Saturday that he hoped the conference would be an important tool for worldwide dialogue between the European Union and USA to find common ground in their positions towards Iran.

Since withdrawing from the nuclear deal previous year, the administration has steadily ratcheted up pressure on Tehran and routinely accuses the nation of being the most destabilizing influence in the region.

Iran hosted tens of thousands of Polish war refugees who were brought to the country after surviving work camps in the Soviet Union and before they migrated to then-emerging Israel, New Zealand and some African countries.

In response, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif took to Twitter to admonish those who plan to participate in the conference.

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