The US State Department has reversed its decision not to dedicate the Warsaw Summit to Iran on 13 and 14 February.
In a statement, the U.S. State Department says Washington and Warsaw will hold a ministerial summit on February 13-14, 2019, entitled “The Future of Peace and Security in the Middle East” in Poland, removing Iran’s name from the meeting’s agenda.
This comes after some EU guests have announced their intention not to attend the meeting.
Two weeks ago, the American idea was to hold a meeting focused on Iran in Poland and possibly define the form of a future “Arab NATO” – a euphemism for a regional anti-Iranian military coalition.
Indeed, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had announced on 11 January in a speech in Cairo that an anti-Iranian summit would be held in Warsaw on 13 and 14 February to “promote peace and security in the Middle East”, a conference that aimed only at discussing ways to reduce Iran’s regional influence. However, the anti-Iranian conference of US President Donald Trump in Poland was very badly received by world leaders. US attempts to exert pressure on Iran suffered a severe setback after ministers from several European Union members withdrew from the summit. The EU’s reluctance towards the US plan seriously undermines the effectiveness of the US State Department’s efforts against Iran.
What has changed in just two weeks?
Two days ago, Euronews announced in a news flash that the Polish president had deemed it “possible” that Iran would be invited to attend the Warsaw summit.
The Polish reversal came after the country’s Deputy Foreign Minister’s visit to Tehran and his meetings with Iranian officials, a reversal followed by the United States Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Jonathan Cohen, who assured on 22 January that the Warsaw Summit would not be aimed at “reconsidering the merits of the PGAC” or “compromising Iran”.
Cohen, who addressed a monthly meeting of the United Nations Security Council on the situation in the Middle East and the Palestinian question, stressed that the Warsaw “ministerial meeting”, co-chaired by the United States and Poland, was intended to “promote peace and stability”: “This ministerial meeting will be an opportunity to exchange experiences, ideas and evaluate our partnerships in order to create a more stable and calm Middle East. This ministerial meeting will be a world-class brainstorming meeting that will enable us to build a more effective security architecture in the Middle East. Discussions on humanitarian crises in Syria and Yemen as well as meetings on ballistic development, extremism and cybersecurity are on the agenda of the meeting. »
With about three weeks to go before the Warsaw summit, Iran may have won a diplomatic victory over the United States.
While an increasing number of countries have announced that they will not attend the Warsaw Summit and will not send any delegations (EU Member States and Russia, among others), the Trump Administration has already gone back to the original Pompeo framework for this summit, moving from an anti-Iranian agenda to a discussion to “promote peace and security in the Middle East”.
Given that preparations for the summit are being led by the Iran Action Group led by Brian Hook, it is likely that Washington will consider putting Europeans in front of the fait accompli by presenting an anti-Iran declaration in the final minutes.
In any case, if the Warsaw summit fails, it will be seen as another failed attempt by Washington to unite the world against Iran and another diplomatic victory by Tehran.