Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has lashed out at an anti-Iran conference due to be held by the US in the Polish capital of Warsaw next month, describing it as a “desperate circus” that will disgrace the participants.
“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,” Zarif said in a Friday tweet.
His comments came after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox News in an interview to air on Friday that Washington will jointly host a global summit focused on Iran and the Middle East next month in Poland.
The international gathering will take place in Warsaw from February 13 to 14, the US State Department said in a statement.
Pompeo said the meeting would “focus on Middle East stability and peace, freedom and security here in this region, and that includes an important element of making sure that Iran is not a destabilizing influence”.
Since withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal last year, the US administration has steadily ratcheted up pressure on Tehran and vowed to increase it until Iran halts what US officials describe as its “malign activities” throughout the Mideast and elsewhere.
As part of its policy of maximum pressure, Washington in early November re-imposed what it called the harshest-ever sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
In his tweet, Zarif also strongly criticized the Polish government for hosting the conference, reminding Warsaw of thousands of Polish refugees saved by Iran during the Second World War.
“Polish Govt. can’t wash the shame: while Iran saved Poles in WWII, it now hosts desperate anti-Iran circus,” he went on to say.
During the World War II, up to two million Polish civilians were arrested by the Soviet secret police and deported to Siberia and Kazakhstan. Many did not survive the long journey (lasting many weeks) by cattle train; many more died during their imprisonment.
Others simply failed to get out after finally being freed from the Soviet gulags. A total of 120,000 Polish people, 3,000 of whom were orphans, escaped from the Soviet Union to Iran, starting a new life in Isfahan.
The Poles entered Iran from the port city of Anzali on the southern coast of the Caspian Sea. Soviet ships docking in Anzali were packed with starving Polish refugees, and they were the lucky ones: Many others died along the way from typhus, typhoid and hunger.
Photos of the Poles and their graveyard in Iran were posted by Zarif in his Friday tweet.
Zarif also included a photograph from the 1996 “Summit of Peacemakers” in Sharm el Sheikh in Egypt.
The photo showed Jordan’s King Hussein, Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres, US President Bill Clinton, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Russian President Boris Yeltsin and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, among other world leaders.