By Geneive Abdo
People hold Iranian flags. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

The Iranian regime should be worried about the U.S.-led conference on the Middle East in Warsaw that is being held Feb. 13 and 14. While it seemed a few days ago that European states would shame the United States at the event—no matter the liabilities—now realpolitik and Tehran’s own missteps are shifting the political winds.

The fact that Poland is hosting the conference illustrates a rift among European states at a delicate time when the European Union (EU) is trying to salvage the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which the United States withdrew from in 2018. For example, some European leaders expressed opposition to the Warsaw conference long before it began, saying its sole purpose was to demonize Iran. Federica Mogherini, in charge of EU foreign policy, claimed she had other commitments and is not attending.

Yet, British foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt stated he would attend on the condition that the agenda includes a discussion of the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, which some European leaders blame on Saudi Arabia, America’s ally, for its involvement in the war there. Once the United States agreed to a Yemen discussion, Hunt accepted the conference invitation.

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