Anti –Iran Warsaw meeting : On February 13-14, 60 countries met in the Polish capital , Warsaw , at the “Peace Conference”, which seeks risk reduction in the Middle East and terrorism file in the region. The United States seeks to mobilize the world around its vision of the Middle East during the conference which has achieved a big contribution . The meeting is an occasion to review the unity of the row as a strong response to Iran’s religious system, which this week celebrates 40 years since the overthrow of the Shah, close to the West, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, by the radical Islamists and the establishment of the Islamic Republic. Washington has announced that the Warsaw meeting comes to lay the foundations for forming an alliance to stop Iran’s destabilizing activities, fight terrorism and discuss the region’s files. The United States has paid great importance to the conference by representing Vice President and Foreign Minister Mike Pompeo, Jared Kushner “(the son-in-law of President Donald Trump) in charge of the Middle East peace initiative.
This meeting or conference came with US efforts to form an international alliance to counter Iran’s nuclear activities and its regional expansion in the Middle East. The United States is seeking to discuss Middle East issues in order to establish a regional Arab military alliance known as the Alliance Strategic Middle East “or” MESA “, symbolically called” Arab NATO “. The United States is seeking to rally the world and win the support of new parties on its vision of the Middle East. It is the exercise of maximum pressure on Iran and the strengthening of support for Israel to ensure its interests in the Middle East and in line with its vision in the region despite the boycott of some essential countries in the conference at the international level such as France and Germany.
The participants in Warsaw discussed a series of crises and axes that undermine the stability process in the Middle East, although most of the themes reflect the general nature of the American vision, there is consensus on some of the themes of the conference, these axes are as follows:
• Regional crises and their impact on civilians in the Middle East: Here is the reference to the Syrian crisis and Yemen in particular and the crisis of political instability in the region in general, such as the Lebanese and Iraqi crisis, as well as the Palestinian crisis.
• Missile development and proliferation: The reference here is to Iran’s development of ballistic missiles.
• Cyber security and emerging threats to the energy sector
• Combating extremism and illegal financing.
It seems that the conference was held in the context of a Western division on some issues, including the perception of the relationship with Iran , although the Middle East is a top priority for the countries gathered in the Polish capital Warsaw, there is a great divide in its vision of the Middle East and the challenges that it faces at all levels. The United States and its allies have a special vision for the security and stability of the Middle East, which is a comprehensive vision at the political, security and economic level that is compatible with some Gulf States and Israel.
On the other hand, there are other visions different from the American vision, and look at the Middle East with another perspective, especially with regard to the role of Iran in the region and the position towards the Iranian nuclear agreement, which the United States of America withdrew from , and a wide spectrum of European countries represents this vision active in the European Union such as ( France , Germany and Belgium) and even the organizing state of the Conference does not come out t from the European vision regarding the position towards the Iranian nuclear agreement. Furthermore, the United Kingdom’s vision of this conference is different from the American and European vision. The Kingdom sent its Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt, who pointed out that his priorities are to address the humanitarian crisis caused by the Saudi-led military campaign in Yemen.
Under the title “Iran should be concerned about the Warsaw Summit,” The National Interest magazine said that the conference represents a shift in US policy towards the regime of the Wilayat al-Faqih, whose support for terrorism was the main reason for calling for the conference. It pointed out that President Trump realized the risk of Iranian regime which is using terrorist militias to destabilize the region and its insistence on continuing its nuclear and missile program, which led Trump to decide to withdraw from the nuclear agreement and impose economic sanctions on Tehran to impede it economically. The magazine stressed the importance of this conference as a rare international meeting, in which more than 70 countries participated in, after long years since the Madrid talks, held at the beginning of the nineties and discussed peace in the Middle East.
The ‘National interest ” indicated even if the conference did not produce a working map to counter Iran’s intervention in Syria, Iraq and Yemen and reduce its influence, which is expanding its scope through Hezbollah in Lebanon, it is the beginning to form a broader front to confront the Tehran regime. On the other hand, The US network “CNN” quoted as an American senior official said that the conference focuses mainly on Iran’s influence in the Middle East, and how to pressure collectively to modify its malicious behavior in the region. The US network indicated to the words of Rudy Giuliani, the lawyer of President Donald Trump, before a rally of the Iranian opposition , Yesterday, that the leaders of Iran are “murderers and killers and must be overthrown from the power chair. ”
Iran has issued comments to the conference from various levels, before, during and after the meeting; denouncing, and refusing to “bow.” Tehran considered the conference as the nucleus of an anti-American coalition led by the United States in a reference to the idea of Arab NATO linked to the file of normalization of relations with Israel, according to observers, as long as the basic idea focuses on finding mechanisms to address Iran in the region, a goal met by Arab capitals with Tel Aviv. For his part, Foreign Minister Jawad Zarif ridiculed the summit, wrote in a tweet on Twitter that the hosts of the anti-Iran conference and participants should remember that “those who attended the previous American anti-Iran show either died or become stigmatized or marginalized. Iran is stronger than ever. “Despite the comments, there are many concerns in the Iranian political mind regarding the outcome of this conference. Iran’s most fearful is that the conference will be able to isolate it and tighten the sanctions imposed on it. The Iranian economy will be further tightened and the repletion of the scenario of the Guadeloupe 1979 In America, moreover, there is Iranian fear of a direct confrontation between US soldiers and the arms of Tehran in the region or a military strike against Iran if necessary.
For months, Netanyahu and the administration of US President Donald Trump have sought to dedicate “confronting the Iranian threat,” a priority in the Middle East at the expense of resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Netanyahu and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo expressed unprecedented satisfaction with a new direction ahead of the launch of the “Middle East Peace and Security Conference” in Warsaw, Poland.
Netanyahu considered the conference as “It marked a turning point in history, and said in a reference in the dinner party organized for the participants on Wednesday , the conference formed a historical turning point with the participation of about 60 foreign ministers and representatives of dozens of governments in one hall, including an Israeli prime minister and Arab foreign ministers who stood and talked strongly , clear and with exceptional consensus on the common danger posed by the Iranian regime. “Before his meeting with Pompeo in Warsaw, Netanyahu said:” What has been happened which constitutes a change and a significant awareness of the identity of the elements that threaten our future. “While Pompeo considered that” peace and stability in the Middle East can not be achieved facing Iran “. The question is: What are the dimensions and prospects of the Warsaw meeting?
As Iran faces international charges, mainly US, European and regional charges of supporting terrorism, spreading chaos in the region, developing ballistic missile programs, as well as supporting militias and armed groups in the Middle East, Iran is a key objective of this meeting. And its discussions will include the reduction of Iran’s risks in the Middle East, as expressed by the US Secretary of State, considering that Iran is the main cause of instability in the region, and the Polish Foreign Minister, Jacek Chabotovic, expressed this in a statement, saying: «The nuclear agreement did not prevent Iran from Activities that destabilize region ».
There is no doubt that the Warsaw meeting will be part of the ongoing campaign led by the Trump administration against Iran after the US withdrawal from the nuclear agreement, a campaign that the United States wants the European countries to join , especially after the European concern of the Iranian terrorist activities on its territory, as well as the concern over the development of ballistic missile programs, which prompted the European Union to impose the first sanctions on Iran since the nuclear agreement. The Polish Foreign Minister expressed the hope that the meeting will contribute to the convergence of positions of the European Union and the United States towards Iran, and no doubt that the United States will take advantage of the presence of some European countries disturbed by the behavior of Iran as Poland, which considers that the nuclear agreement “does not prevent Iran from activities that destabilize the region” as well as some countries that accuse Iran of targeting its security, such as Albania, Denmark and France.
This meeting is a support for the “US strategy in the region, where the US secretary of state said within a tour during a visit to Cairo” the US strategy for the future in the Middle East will focus heavily on confronting Iran. Indeed, the United States has made significant progress in implementing some elements of the US strategy in the region. Its strategy towards Iran, undermining the nuclear agreement and re-imposing the sanctions, which the agreement had frozen with some exceptions in terms of energy exports to eight countries. These sanctions were useful with regard to exerting unprecedented pressure on the Iranian regime at home as a result of economic difficulties, and the face of Iran’s regional influence is among the most important elements of the success of the US strategy, this meeting comes apparently in order to achieve progress in this aspect.
Achieving an international consensus on US policy towards Iran is a key element in the success of the US strategy. The meeting provides a broad umbrella and a paper in which the United States legitimizes its policies toward Iran. The meeting is an opportunity for a number of European countries to announce their non-compliance with the nuclear agreement, against the backdrop of the Iranian threats to a number of European countries, as well as American pressure. The agreement was effectively paralyzed through sanctions, as well as the inability of the EU countries to launch a mechanism for exchanging financial transactions with Iran, Iran’s desperation from the EU countries, and its ability to counter American pressure.
There is no doubt that the Warsaw meeting is an American interest. The US administration has managed to bring together sixty countries to the Warsaw meeting in Poland to study ways and mechanisms to confront Iran together, to consult on the cessation of negotiations between the Palestinians and Israel and the need to normalize Arab-Israeli relations. The meeting, in which the Palestinian Authority was absent from, aims to unite the efforts of these countries under American sponsorship to confront Iran, create a regional environment for the deal of the century, and normalize relations. The Palestinian Authority has been absent in protest against the American position on the issue of Jerusalem and the imposition of a financial siege on the Authority, but the authority that has been absent has flown to Riyadh for the meeting of Mahmoud Abbas with King Salman to coordinate positions and to carry the Authority’s message to America and to Netanyahu. Here, we can say that the Palestinian Authority was present through Saudi Arabia and other Arab delegations. The Arab representation of the Palestinian Authority is not new. The Arab delegations used to represent the PA with its authorization and without authorization, and the Authority used to comply with the Arab position. The Arab side has informed the PA that it has problems in the Gulf region and has other problems in international relations, Yemen, Syria and Turkey, and therefore the policy of the Kingdom and the Gulf is giving priority to its urgent problems. The Palestinian issue is no longer a pressing priority issue, and Abbas must listen well to the American administration, and to return to the negotiations under US auspices, because the international conference that demands it will not meet at all to discuss the Palestinian issue.
That this meeting may give the American security project for the Middle East legitimacy and international support, a project that the United States is still trying to finalize it, which will be under the supervision and umbrella of protection from it . Not to mention , countries such as Russia, China and some other countries keen to cooperate with Iran are enthusiastic to take into account these diplomatic efforts, which may prompt it to review its position, and pave the way for broader cooperation in dealing with the Iranian issue, especially as the United States remains keen to have its strategy in coordinated efforts, even with countries that have disagreements with them on this file, and the coordination regarding the oil exceptions is a clear evidence of the intensity of US efforts to tighten the pressure on Iran.
Although the final statement of the conference dealt with the axes declared in general regarding regional crises and the development of ballistic missiles, cyber security, electronic piracy and energy security, Iran was the focus of the outcome of the final statement announced by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo with his Polish counterpart Jacek Chabotovic. This reflects the vision of the US administration and its allies in the region regarding the crises of the Middle East and its struggle against Iran, while the region needs a unified and comprehensive vision through which the countries of the region meet with the United States and the European Union to identify the real problems that threaten security and stability in the region , and to develop quick and objective solutions to the region’s crises, particularly with regard to the Syrian and Yemeni crises and the reduction of Iran’s regional activities. Therefore, some experts see that the outcomes of the conference reflect in many aspects the agenda of the US administration “Trumpet vision” away from the vision of American decision-making institutions on foreign issues in general and the Middle East in particular, while the region needs a comprehensive vision in which the local visions of the States concerned with the conflict in the region are compatible with major powers such as the United States, the European Union and the United Kingdom in order to develop a real and comprehensive strategy for the Middle East to address the main challenges to the stability factors in the region.
International Studies Unit’
Rawabet Center for Research and Strategic Studies