A two-day international conference on “peace and security” in the Middle East got underway in Warsaw, Poland this Wednesday.

While dozens of countries have sent representatives to Warsaw, many important players are not there, either because they weren’t invited or declined to go. Many believe this is due to the meeting’s agenda and in particular its focus on Iran.

The agenda of the conference sparked a lot of controversies before it began, even in the host country.

“There has been a growing opposition towards this conference, so much so, that just before word of the venue became public, Poland’s deputy foreign minister was sent to Iran in order, let’s say to appease the Iranian establishment,” Antoni Jakubowski from the Center for Polish-Asian Studies said.

But Tehran wasn’t concerned. In fact, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif quickly dismissed the whole conference as a charade, speaking to the journalists in Tehran on Wednesday.

“I don’t think it can do anything. It’s another attempt by the United States to pursue its obsession with Iran, that is not well-founded and I think the fact that they’re not even aiming to produce any agreed text, rather they are just attempting to make a statement by themselves on behalf of everybody indicates that they don’t even believe it’s a serious affair,” Zarif said.

In the meantime, the conference’s real work begins on Thursday, as that is when the closed door meeting start.

However, the true worth of the conference will be difficult to quantify, considering the absence of so many key players, from Turkey, Iran and Lebanon in the region, to more global powers like China and Russia.

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