Egypt suspends tourism with Iran out of security concerns
Egypt’s Tourism Minister Hisham Zazou said on Tuesday that tourism links with Iran had been suspended for reasons of “national security,” state television reported.
Flights bringing Iranian tourists to Egypt began under now ousted president Mohamed Morsi, amid a thaw in relations between Cairo and Tehran.
But they were met with strong opposition from hardline Salafists and suspicion from security services in Egypt, who had long accused Iran of meddling in the country.
In April Egypt suspended all tourist visits from Iran following objections by the ultra-conservative Sunni Islamists to any rapprochement with the Shiite Islamic republic.
The moratorium was lifted in May.
Zazou said “the suspension of tourism with Iran is related to national security,” state television reported.
Egypt and Iran severed ties after Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution, which was deeply hostile to Cairo’s peace treaty with Israel.
Morsi, an Islamist, opposed Iran’s role in the Syrian conflict but believed the Shiite state should be included in regional diplomacy.
Since his ouster on July 3, the new military-installed authorities have indicated they preferred a more traditional foreign policy.
[Image via Agence France-Presse]