Poland’s private Radio ZET stated on Wednesday that the Iranian embassy in Warsaw has halted issuing tourist visas to Iran.
The move by Iran’s diplomatic outpost in Warsaw is a follow-up to the first signal of growing tension on the Warsaw-Teheran line, the summoning of the Polish charge d'affaires to Iran, Wojciech Unolt.
When summoned, the Polish diplomat was told that the Polish government's decision to host the conference was considered as "an act of hostility towards Iran." He was also informed that Teheran might decide to implement retaliatory measures, the Iranian state agency IRNA reported.
Iranian stance on the February conference
Iran has staunchly criticised Poland hosting the ministerial-level conference on security issues in the Middle East that will be co-organised with the US and held in Warsaw on February 13-14.
According to the United Arab Emirates-based (UAE) news agency Al-Arabiya citing Iran’s Hamshahri daily, Iranian FM Javad Zarif dubbed the prospective conference in Warsaw “a disgrace” on Poland.
Al-Arabiya also stated that the speaker of the Guardian Council of the Constitution (GCC) Abbas Ali Kadkhadey identified three reasons why the US chose Poland to host the conference. These include the permanent U.S. military presence in Poland known as “Fort Trump”, the fact that Poland contracted a purchase of the Patriot defence system from the US and Polish activity with regard to the import of US gas.
The GCC is an appointed and constitutionally mandated 12-member legislative council that wields considerable power and influence in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The critique of the conference comes from governmental and media sources alike. For instance, the Supreme National Security Council’s secretary expressed his opinion that “the fact that Trump organises this kind of a conference while speaking of sanctions and putting pressure on the highest levels is a proof of his failure.”
Regarding Iran’s media, the Teheran based Sobh-e-Nu daily proposed to the Iranian foreign ministry that Poland’s ambassador to Iran should be expelled, erring on the side of misinformation as Poland has had no ambassador in Iran while its highest-ranking diplomat in the country was its charge d’affaires Wojciech Unolt.
According to the Poland in Arabic news website, Poland has already sent invitations to the conference to Muslim countries including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE, Bahrain, Oman and Morocco.