The Supreme Leader also indirectly condemned Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani for criticizing the missile program on social media. He chastised domestic critics saying, “That they say the future of the world is one of negotiation and not one of missiles.” Then Khamenei invoked, almost verbatim, a recent Tweet by Rafsanjani, the head of the country’s Expediency council, who said, “The future of the world is one of dialogue, not missiles.” Khamenei said, “if that is said out of ignorance, well it is ignorance, but if it’s said knowingly, it is treason.” Following the speech, Rafsanjani’s social media team issued a correction, claiming the original Tweet only contained part of Rafsanjani’s comments.
Austria visit canceled President Hassan Rouhani canceled this week’s visit to Austria due to security reasons. The Iranian president was set to meet Austrian President Heinz Fischer and other Austrian officials on Wednesday and Thursday, his second trip to the European Union since the JCPOA. According to Die Presse newspaper, Iran demanded Austria stop planned demonstrations over the country’s nuclear program during the visit. A spokesman for Austria’s Interior Ministry said there were “no concrete signs of a security threat” and the preparation for the visit was “completely ordinary and routine.” IRNA claims the cancellation was “based on mutual agreement in order to allow better planning and coordination from both sides.” A new date has not been announced.