After days of contradictory remarks, Ali Larijani announced:
Rouhani’s visit to Austria was called off due to the Austrian government’s refusal to cancel PMOI demonstration
Following contradictory remarks by the Iranian regime leaders and state media on the reason for calling off Rouhani’s visit to Austria, the speaker of the regime’s Parliament Ali Larijani announced on April 2 that the visit had been called off because of a demonstration by the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK). He voiced support for Rouhani’s decision to cancel the trip and said: “The Austrian government had ‘ignored’ requests by Iranian President’s security team to revoke the demonstration permit for the PMOI during the visit.”
The Iranian Resistance had called for a demonstration to protest Rouhani’s visit to Austria on March 30 and 31.
The cancelling of Rouhani’s trip has in recent days turned into a political disgrace for the regime and its president. The regime’s officials initially attempted to hide the main reason behind cancelling of the trip, claiming there were “security considerations”, but the Austrian President and other officials declared that there had been no security problem or threat. Writing on the subject on March 30, the Austrian newspaper Die Presse quoted Austrian diplomatic sources that the Iranian government had asked Austria to prevent a demonstration during Rouhani’s visit to Vienna. But the Austrian government… had turned down the request. Heinz Fischer, President of Austria, noted: We have taken all necessary security precautions, but Austria cannot prohibit assembly and demonstrations. The right to assembly is deep-rooted in the Austrian constitution… Assembly cannot be prohibited in our democracy.
Subsequently, Hassan Qazi-zadeh Hashemi, the Iranian regime’s Minister of Health, who was to accompany Rouhani to Austria, pointed to the regime’s internal crisis pursuant to the cancellation of the trip. He wrote: Is it proper to take political advantage of the fact that many issues cannot be made public (out of the country’s expediency and interest)? In order to justify the regime’s defeat after the trip was cancelled he claimed Rouhani made a right decision so that from now on all countries would know how much we value our regime’s honor.
During Rouhani’s visit to Paris, the Iranian Resistance disclosed Rouhani’s record with over 2300 executions and the appalling state of human rights in Iran in a large demonstration exposing the notoriety of the regime and its president such that the Iranian regime considered the trip a failure.
Calling off Rouhani’s trip because of a demonstration by the supporters of the PMOI and the Iranian Resistance vividly demonstrates the mullahs’ apprehension regarding the increasing support for the PMOI by the Iranian people and the feeble state of the regime in confronting the Iranian Resistance. On March 15, Entekhab Website, associated with Rouhani, inversely acknowledged this fact and wrote: Rouhani’s measure “to cancel this visit bore this message that Iran is not prepared to back down under any circumstances vis-à-vis the PMOI.”