A sixty-nation conference initiated by the US opened in Warsaw on Wednesday. Although its official motto is security in the Middle East, its sessions focus on how to entice different countries to form an alliance for wielding pressure on Iran, an object of the Trump Administration’s hate.
When the US authorities announced the Warsaw summit for the first time, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo promised that Washington would bring together dozens of countries.
As he toured the Middle East, he kept stressing that peace settlement and security in the region was at the top of the agenda in discussions with the Arab countries’ leaders and only Iran was obstructing the process with its “destabilizing activities.”
Met with HH Amir @TamimBinHamad in #Doha. Strong agreement on the robust #USQatar partnership and need for #GCC unity to advance prosperity, security, and stability in the region. We all must stand together against the #Iran regime’s destabilizing activitives. pic.twitter.com/flnh0wBwPf
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) January 14, 2019
Hence the US was organizing a summit to “stand up to Iran’s regime” as the main threat to peace and blossoming in the Middle East
“Countries will all come together to 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,” Pompeo was quoted as saying during the visit to Egypt.
I am pleased to announce that the U.S. and #Poland will jointly host the Ministerial to Promote a Future of Peace and Security in the Middle East in Warsaw on Feb. 13-14. It will be a forum for countries to address a range of critical issues toward a more peaceful Middle East. pic.twitter.com/IS8oPP4Aqs
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) January 11, 2019
US acting ambassador to the UN, Jonathan Cohen said later, however, the conference had been conceived as an action of global brainstorming on cybersecurity, humanitarian aid Syria and Yemen, and struggle with extremism. He also claimed that criticism of Iran was not on the list of objectives of the gathering.
A remarkable fact about it is that the Americans took a decision on its venue on their own without notifying Poland. Since Warsaw doesn’t have strong political positions in the EU, it turned into a victim of the US political class’s sweeping anti-Iranian ambitions. Denmark had the experience once in the past, too, when it heeded the instigations from Washington to initiate adoption of anti-Iranian sanctions by the EU.
The Iranian authorities offered a rancorous reaction to the conference and issued a note of protest to the Polish ambassador in Teheran.
Reminder to host/participants of anti-Iran conference: those who attended last US anti-Iran show are either dead, disgraced, or marginalized. And Iran is stronger than ever.
Polish Govt can't wash the shame: while Iran saved Poles in WWII, it now hosts desperate anti-Iran circus. pic.twitter.com/iOOvhgtUsL
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) January 11, 2019
The Poles gave the assurances, however, that the conference was not anti-Iranian in character and Warsaw only played the role of a neutral ground. They also explained for the fact Iranian representatives had not been invited to attend by claiming there was no appropriate environment for a meeting between Iran and the US on the same floor for the time being. Teheran called the explanations insufficient and warned it would have to make reciprocal steps if the results of the conference were spearheaded at Iran.
It is not ruled out though that Poland will get small gravy for the spoiling of relations with Teheran in the form of a buildup of US military presence on its territory – and some fiscal aide.
Although Mike Pompeo spoke about the large scope and scale of the Warsaw summit, this initiative of the US will unlikely be crowned with a success for a number of reasons.
Honored that @VP & Jared Kushner are accompanying me to the #WarsawSummit. Thanks to President Duda, PM Morawiecki & FM Czaputowicz for co-hosting this historic gathering & to nearly 70 nations for joining our effort to bring peace & security to the MidEast. #WeStandWithPoland pic.twitter.com/8RP7eAoaOU
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) February 13, 2019
The Iranians said on their part the flop of the Warsaw conference was guaranteed. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif mentioned it at a news conference.
“It is another attempt by the United States to pursue an obsession with Iran that is not well-founded,” he said. “The Warsaw conference, I believe, is dead on arrival.”
Zarif also said Washington didn’t have any interest in using the gathering as a floor for an exchange of opinion with the representatives of the 60 participating nations.
“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 (the conference) themselves,” he said.
The EU member-states have de facto responded to Washington by lowering the level of their representation at the event, as the EU is highly displeased with the US pullout from the Iran nuclear deal. The EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, boycotted the conference, which the US had conceived as an instrument for forcing the European countries to take a more aggressive stance on Iran.
The key countries like Russia and Turkey, the positions of which exert and immediate impact on the shaping of political environment and, on top of that, on stability, peace and security in the Middle East, are not present in Warsaw either. Instead of the American circus in Warsaw, their leaders have preferred a meeting in Sochi where the Astana trio could make sure they are on the same page in terms of practical steps on Syrian peace settlement.
Israel and some of Washington’s vassals in the Arab world were the only ones to hail the summit in Warsaw. Israeli PM Binyamin Netanyahu gave a hearty welcome to it. “ThisisaveryimportantinternationalconferenceinWarsaw,” he said. “The focus is Iran. This brings together Israel, the US, and countries in and beyond the region.”
“I think that the holding of this conference in which Israel, the US, various countries around the world and from the region sit down in one place, in one hall and discuss one topic which, in my opinion, is the most important for our national security, is a very important achievement,” the Israeli media quoted him.
What is important about this meeting – and it is not in secret, because there are many of those – is that this is an open meeting with representatives of leading Arab countries, that are sitting down together with Israel in order to advance the common interest of combating Iran.
— PM of Israel (@IsraeliPM) February 13, 2019
From here I am going to a meeting with 60 foreign ministers and envoys of countries from around the world against Iran.
— PM of Israel (@IsraeliPM) February 13, 2019
Considering the whole set of existing factors, the summit in Warsaw conjured up by the US won’t be successful. In spite of all of its pomp, it looks much more like a circus where the participants have gotten together to amuse themselves rather than to elaborate a unified stance or concept of some kind. The low enough level of the EU’s participation won’t make it possible for the US to change the positions of the key European actors on the Iran nuclear deal, while the absence of Russia, China, Turkey, and a number of other countries from the discussions will be unhelpful as regards the knocking together of a powerful anti-Iranian coalition.
Is it no coincidence that Iran is hit by terror on the very day that #WarsawCircus begins? Especially when cohorts of same terrorists cheer it from Warsaw streets & support it with twitter bots? US seems to always make the same wrong choices, but expect different results.
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) February 13, 2019