In a letter to his French counterpart, Rouhani strongly denounced the attacks as a “crime against humanity” and expressed condolences with the French people.
He was due in Rome on Saturday and then Paris next week on a major European visit, the first such trip by an Iranian president in a decade. He called off both visits in the early hours of Saturday, according to the Iranian foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, the country’s state news agency reported.
Rouhani’s visits were aimed at reviving Iran’s global image and rebuilding economic ties following the landmark nuclear agreement in July. Under that accord, Tehran agreed to roll back its nuclear activities in exchange for the lifting of sanctions, including an end to the EU embargo on imports of Iranian oil.
It was meant to be Rouhani’s first official visit to Europe and also the first to the continent by an Iranian head of government since 1999, when the former reformist president, Mohammad Khatami, made similar trips to Paris and Rome.
Rouhani particularly wanted to present his country as a key regional player with an influential role in determining the fate of Syria, according to Ali-Akbar Mousavi Khoini, a former reformist Iranian MP.