By Reza Shafiee
Why has the Warsaw conference, planned for next month in Poland’s capital, has frightened the Iranian regime so much.
The conference, known as the Ministerial to Promote a Future of Peace and Security in the Middle East, will address “terrorism and extremism, missile development and proliferation, maritime trade and security, and threats posed by proxy groups across the region,” according to a statement from the U.S. State Department.
The clerical regime knows full well that the days of “appeasement” policy are numbered. The days that the West were willing to go out of its way to please the Iranian regime are over.
Iran’s Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif, criticized the Polish government on January 11th on Twitter, writing: “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.”
The Iranian Foreign Ministry summoned Poland’s Charge d’Affaires Wojciech Unolt on January 13th over an “anti-Iranian conference” that Warsaw is hosting, according to Iranian state media.
In a speech in Cairo, Egypt on January 10, Secretary Pompeo outlined the Trump administration’s Middle East policy and spoke extensively of the U.S. “campaign to stop Iran’s malevolent influence and actions against this region and the world.”
“The nations of the Middle East will never enjoy security, achieve economic stability, or advance the dreams of its peoples if Iran’s revolutionary regime persists on its current course,” Pompeo said.
The Iranian regime’s predicament speaks volumes. The first sparks of 2017/2018 nationwide protests in Iran which according to regime’s officials mushroomed into some 160 cities across the country, soon throwing the whole nation into a social turbulence; something that has never been seen in the history of the theocratic regime in Iran.
Iranian officials quietly downplay the conference in Warsaw while they hardly can hide their fear of its outcome. The supreme leader Ali Khamenei and the Revolutionary Guards’ top brass know that the international event maybe one of the final nails on the coffin of a failed policy that shielded the regime for decades. Most Western countries eagerly advocated the appeasement policy toward Iran for years.
Iranian state-run television broadcasted Zarif’s “disappointment” with the Warsaw conference on January 12th. It quoted Zarif as saying, “The U.S. attempts to host a summit against Iran an anti-Iranian circus and disappointing. [Javad] Zarif criticized Poland for cooperating with the U.S. administration and added that while during the World War II, Iran rescued Polish citizens, hosting an anti-Iranian circus by this country is disappointing.”
A government official daily, Asr-e Iran, which is close to Hassan Rouhani’s so-called moderate faction, also revealed Iran’s strategically weak position and the dilemma it faces. It wrote: “In response to news about next month’s summit in Poland, Iranian officials only considered it from the angle of bilateral relationships between the [Iranian] regime and Poland and also the hostile relationships between Washington and Tehran. They didn’t try to turn it into a European-Islamic Republic issue; especially when the EU has passed new sanctions against the [Iranian] regime’s intelligence community.”
It is true that the Iranian people can no longer stand the regime and it’s also true that the main Iranian opposition is the source of great fear for Khamenei and his cronies.
The volatile state of the country plus the prospect of an end to the appeasement policy and on top of that a viable alternative to organize the protests in Iran is certainly a terrifying outlook for the regime in 2019.
This article also appeared at International Policy Digest