US newspaper:

EU nations to snub Washington’s latest anti-Iran push

Tehran, Jan 19, IRNA – A leading US newspaper in an article on Saturday pointed to the lack of presence of a number of European countries in the US-engineered meeting in Warsaw and quoting certain European politicians said the European Union (EU) will not become a part of the upcoming anti-Iranian move.

'A US effort to enlist Europe in its pressure campaign against Iran faced a setback after officials said ministers from several European Union members will likely skip a summit organized by Washington on Iran and the Middle East,' the Wall Street Journal wrote.

The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced last week that Poland and the US will co-host a conference on peace and stability in the Middle East the February 13-14.

The two governments said the conference would focus on terror, extremism and missile proliferation in the region and threats posed by proxy groups, activities Washington has accused Iran of engaging in or promoting.

This is while Iran has been a victim of terrorism and played an undeniably important role in fighting Daesh (ISIS) in Syria and Iraq.

However, the Polish government has been trying to play down the Iran focus in the conference.

Quoting an EU official, the WSJ wrote that there is “a lot of uncertainty about participation of many other EU member states at ministerial level.'

'European diplomats said in recent days that France is unlikely to send its foreign minister. Britain and Germany haven't decided who will represent them. Luxembourg’s foreign minister said he would miss the event because of a prior arrangement.'

The bloc is a strong supporter of the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal and is seeking to help retain economic ties with Tehran despite renewed US sanctions on Iran following President Trump’s decision in May to withdraw from the nuclear deal.

On Thursday, a senior EU official said that EU foreign-policy chief Federica Mogherini, who has spearheaded EU efforts to sustain the 2015, wouldn’t attend the Warsaw gathering because she will be on a trip.

The deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, offered Iran relief from sanctions in exchange for steps to curb its nuclear program.

One European diplomat said the bloc wouldn’t be “joining an anti-Iran coalition.”

On January 13, Iranian foreign ministry summoned Poland’s ambassador to protest the summit.

Also, Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif, wrote in a Twitter message, “Polish government can’t wash the shame: while Iran saved Poles in WWII, it now hosts desperate anti-Iran circus.”

'The EU had promised to set up that mechanism by November. It would work as a barter scheme run by a special purpose company. The project has been beset by delays and difficulties,' WSJ wrote.

The newspaper quoted the European officials as saying that the vehicle is likely to be registered in the next few weeks in France with a senior German banking official installed as the managing director, according to EU diplomats. The UK will join France and Germany as a shareholder in the mechanism.

Iran's ambassador to Poland Masoud Edrisi-Kermanshahi told Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) in an interview that the US' move aims at creating a drift between EU members about Iran and will have 'negative consequences' and may affect the relations between Iran and Poland.

He has recently met foreign minister of Poland and explicitly said that the move is 'hostile' and against Iran's national interests.

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