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U.S. Announces Iran-Focused Meeting in Poland In February


U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (left) is greeted by Bahraini Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmad al-Khalifa after arriving in Manama on January 11.

The United States says it will host a global conference in Poland next month, to discuss the Middle East, and Iran in particular.

The U.S. State Department said in a statement on January 11 that the meeting will take place in Warsaw on February 13-14.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a televised interview that the meeting would "focus on Middle East stability and peace and freedom and security here in this region, and that includes an important element of making sure that Iran is not a destabilizing influence."

The meeting will "bring together dozens of countries from all around the world, from Asia, from Africa, from Western Hemisphere countries, Europe too, the Middle East of course," Pompeo said, according to a transcript released by the State Department.

Pompeo, who is on a tour of the Middle East, has said that the United States is redoubling efforts to put pressure on Iran.

Last year, President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the 2015 Iran nuclear accord, that suspended sanctions in exchange for Tehran curtailing its nuclear programs.

The Trump administration moved to reimpose sanctions on Tehran, as well.

Other partners in the deal, however, have sought keep the agreement from completely unraveling.

Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz said he hoped the conference would bring closer the EU and U.S. positions.

He said more than 70 countries were invited to the conference, including all EU members.

Iran's foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, called the conference a "desperate anti-Iran circus."

Writing on Twitter, Zarif said: "Reminder to host/participants of anti-Iran conference: those who attended last U.S. anti-Iran show are either dead, disgraced, or marginalized. And Iran is stronger than ever."

During his Middle East tour, Pompeo is also trying to build support on other issues, including the U.S. troop withdrawal from Syria and the killing of U.S.-based Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

With reporting by AP
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