The United States said Tuesday an international conference next month to promote peace and stability in the Middle East is not aimed at demonizing Iran, which has denounced the gathering as America’s anti-Iran “circus.”
U.S. deputy ambassador Jonathan Cohen told the Security Council that the conference in Warsaw on February 13-14 sponsored by the United States and Poland is also not aimed at discussing the merits of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal known as the JCPOA, which U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from in 2018.
He called the ministerial meeting a brainstorming session to “develop the outline of a stronger security architecture” in the Mideast with sessions on the humanitarian crises in Syria and Yemen, missile development, extremism and cybersecurity.
Cohen’s comments followed complaints from Iran directed at Poland for co-hosting the conference and a tweet by Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif denouncing it as a U.S. anti-Iran “circus.” Poland’s foreign minister Jacek Czaputowicz said in remarks published Monday that Iran wasn’t invited and Russia would not attend.
Russia’s U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia told the Security Council later that Moscow would like to believe the conference isn’t just aimed at one country. He then asked: “Why has that conference not invited Iran, which is one of the most significant and large countries in the region?”
“Attempts to create some kind of military alliances in the region, holding different conferences and focusing on having a simplified unilateral approach to the region that is clearly linked just to Iran, is counterproductive,” he said, “and just pushes further away the prospects of finding a genuine security architecture for the region.”
Read more: Haaretz
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