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Will Warsaw summit unite US, EU against Iran?

Despite a likely Western European snub in terms of level of representation, the Warsaw summit holds the possibility of being a starting point for a European-American consensus against Iran down the line, potentially depriving Tehran of even the minimum benefits of the nuclear deal.

The upcoming Warsaw ministerial summit on peace and security in the Middle East can be regarded as a turning point in US President Donald Trump's policy toward Tehran. Although Poland has tried to assuage Iran's concerns, and while acting US Ambassador to the UN Jonathan Cohen has denied that the Islamic Republic will be the focal point of the Feb 13-14 meeting, the rhetoric of US officials — and especially Secretary of State Mike Pompeo — suggests there is an ongoing effort to represent Iran as a threat to international security that should be immediately contained through a global and multilateral arrangement.

This new trend in US policy toward Iran is in line with prior unsuccessful attempts to form international coalitions against Iran. For instance, in February 2018 — three months prior to the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal — Trump hosted an unconventional meeting with the delegations of all UN Security Council members to highlight Iran’s “destabilizing activities” in the region. That meeting did not appear to be as effective as expected, given the continued broad international support for the nuclear deal. In another surprising move, Trump in September personally chaired a UN Security Council meeting on nuclear nonproliferation.

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