Iran FM scraps Vienna trip in protest of Austria flying Israeli flag

BERLIN — Iran’s foreign minister has called off a planned visit to his Austrian counterpart in Vienna. The decision comes after Austria’s chancellery and foreign ministry flew the Israeli flag as a signal of solidarity in Israel’s conflict with the militant Hamas group.

Austrian daily Die Presse reports that Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was due to meet Austrian counterpart Alexander Schallenberg today. But he called off the trip over the Austrian leaders’ decision to fly the Israeli flag on Friday.

The Austria Press Agency says Schallenberg’s spokeswoman, Claudia Tuertscher, confirmed the report. She says: “We regret this.”

Vienna has been hosting negotiations in recent weeks aimed at bringing the United States back into the 2015 nuclear deal aimed at allaying concerns about Iran’s nuclear ambitions. France, Germany, Britain, Russia and China are still parties to that agreement.

Iran’s deputy foreign minister, Abbas Araghchi, tweeted yesterday that Austria “so far been a great host for negotiations” but it was “shocking & painful to see flag of the occupying regime, that brutally killed tens of innocent civilians, inc many children in just few days, over govt offices in Vienna.”

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