Egypt freezes Iranian tourism program

Tourism minister Zaazou attributed the move to "security reasons"

Egypt freezes Iranian tourism program

World Bulletin/News Desk

Egypt's Tourism Minister Hisham Zaazou said Tuesday that his country had "frozen" a drive to draw Iranian tourists to Egypt, citing 'security reasons.'

"The current circumstances do not allow us to receive Iranian tourists," Zaazou told reporters. "The file is frozen until further instructions from the premiership."

The minister attributed the move to "security reasons," stressing that "the country's national security is the main factor as to whether specific tourists should be targeted" for tourism.

He did not elaborate further on the "security reasons" he mentioned.

"For me, Iranian tourists are no different from any other tourists," he said.

Earlier this year, Egypt received two groups of Iranian tourists – the first since relations between the two countries were severed more than 30 years ago.

The move, however, drew the ire of many of Egypt's Salafists, who fear that Iranians might use the breakthrough to spread Shiite ideology in Egypt.

Relations between Egypt and Iran were cut in 1979 after Iran strongly criticized Cairo's peace treaty with Israel. During the one-year tenure of ousted president Mohamed Morsi, however, Egypt took several steps aimed at improving ties between Cairo and Tehran.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 01 Ekim 2013, 15:39

Muhammed Öylek