Iran foreign minister cancels meet with Austrian counterpart over Israel flag

WION Web Team
New DelhiUpdated: May 15, 2021, 06:42 PM IST

File photo of Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif. Photograph:(Reuters)

Story highlights

The dispute between Iran and Austria has come during talks to revive 2015 Iran nuclear deal

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif cancelled his meeting with his Austrian counterpart as a sign of displeasure over Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz flying Israeli flag in Vienna. Zarif was due to meet Austria's foreign minister Alexander Schallenberg but he called off the meeting, said a spokeswoman for Schallenberg

"We regret this and take note of it, but for us it is as clear as day that when Hamas fires more than 2,000 rockets at civilian targets in Israel then we will not remain silent," the spokeswoman said.

Hamas is the Islamist group that runs Gaza. Israel has pummelled Gaza with airstrikes and Palestinian militants have launched rocket barrages at Israel in the worst escalation of violence in years.

The dispute between Iran and Austria has come during talks to revive 2015 Iran nuclear deal. Former US President Donald Trump had unilaterally taken US out of the deal struck between Iran and world powers.

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, who is firmly pro-Israel, had called flying the Israeli flag over the federal chancellery on Friday a mark of solidarity amid the violent clashes. But Abbas Araqchi, who heads the Iranian delegation at the Vienna talks, criticised the move.

"Vienna is the seat of (nuclear watchdog) IAEA & UN, and (Austria) so far been a great host for negotiations," Araqchi wrote on Twitter. "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. We stand with Palestine."

(With inputs from agencies)