Iran's Rouhani calls off Austria visit at last minute, citing security

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 29, 2016 12:30 PM

VIENNA (Reuters) - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani postponed a two-day visit to Austria indefinitely for security reasons on Tuesday, the evening he was supposed to arrive in Vienna, his Austrian counterpart's office said.

It was not clear what the security reasons were, a spokeswoman for Austrian President Heinz Fischer's office said. She said a planned Rouhani visit to Baghdad immediately before the Austrian trip had also been postponed for security reasons.

"We were working (on preparations) until 5, 5:30 p.m.," she said shortly before 6 p.m. local time (1600 GMT).

Rouhani had been due to hold meetings with Fischer and other officials on Wednesday and Thursday.

Fischer issued a statement expressing his regret at Rouhani's move, adding: "Of course, it goes without saying that each state must make its own decisions about security and the head of state's security."

(Reporting by Francois Murphy; Editing by Mark Heinrich)