May 15, 2021 12:13 UTC
  • Iranian FM cancels Austria trip over Israeli flags on government buildings

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has canceled his official trip to Austria over its move to hoist Israeli flags on government offices in the capital, Vienna, amid the occupying regime’s unabated aggression against Palestinians.

Stephanie Lajinstein, an Austrian journalist, announced on her Twitter account on Saturday that Zarif’s trip had been called off at the last minute due to the hoisting of the Israeli flags.

"The cancellation of this trip will not change our good traditional relations and communication channels with Iran. But we will not make our declaration of solidarity with Israel dependent on the diplomatic visits of other countries," she added.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi had earlier condemned Austria for raising Israeli flags over government offices in Vienna, where intensive talks over the revival of 2015 Iran nuclear deal are underway.

Araqchi praised Vienna in a tweet on Friday as a “great host for negotiations” and called the Austrian move “shocking and painful” as the Israeli regime has, over the past days, martyred scores of innocent people in the besieged Gaza Strip.

“Vienna is the seat of IAEA & UN, and Austria so far been a great host for negotiations,” Araqchi wrote. “Shocking and 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.”

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz had earlier offered condolences to the Israeli regime and ordered the hoisting of the illegal entity’s flag over government offices in the capital.

The move came against the backdrop of pro-Palestinian rallies held in Vienna earlier this week over Tel Aviv’s relentless bombardment of the besieged Gaza Strip and Israeli atrocities in Palestinian territories.

Gaza and the other Palestinian territories have been simmering with anger over Israel’s land grab policies in occupied al-Quds as well as the regime’s desecration of the al-Aqsa Mosque complex, the third holiest site in Islam.

The tensions spiraled into a broader conflict between Gaza and the regime of Israel on Monday, days after the regime in Tel Aviv launched a heady-handed crackdown on Palestinian worshipers at al-Aqsa Mosque during the final days of the holy fasting month of Ramadan.

Since then, the Israeli military has been launching large-scale airstrikes across Gaza, razing homes and civilian infrastructure to the ground. The regime’s artillery and tanks have also been targeting the blockaded coastal enclave.

Despite international calls for an immediate halt of all hostilities, including from United Nations chief Antonio Guterres, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has pledged that the offensive against the Gaza Strip will continue.

At least 139 Palestinians, including 39 children and 22 women, have been martyred and about 1,000 others injured in Gaza in the Israeli regime's latest round of aggression.