Iran's Rouhani Postpones Europe Trip as Zarif Heads to Vienna

  • President, foreign minister had scheduled Italy, France visits
  • Zarif will attend Vienna talk on Syria, Islamic State

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called off a trip to Europe in the wake of a series of deadly attacks in Paris.

In a message to French President Francois Hollande, Rouhani called the attacks "crimes against humanity," according to state television. He has postponed visits to Italy, the Vatican and France scheduled for this week because of the attacks, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in a live television appearance Saturday. Zarif said he will travel to Vienna to join talks on Syria’s civil war and confronting Islamic State.

The foreign minister spoke with his Italian counterpart and they "agreed it is now the time when the entire attention is focused on the issue of the struggle against terrorism," Zarif said. The trip should take place “at a more opportune time in the near future," he added.

Zarif, who was to accompany Rouhani, said he will instead travel to Austria to participate in talks about Syria’s more than four-year-old conflict and how to confront Islamic State militants and "the dangers of terrorism."

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