Egyptians visit Iran on direct flight for first time since 1979

Ahram Online, Thursday 18 Apr 2013

Direct flight takes Egyptian tourists from Cairo to Iran for first time since Islamic revolution in 1979

Tourists in Mashhad (Photo: Ahram)

A group of 24 Egyptian tourists have arrived in Iran to visit the country's ancient monuments.

The tourists are visiting the ancient cities of Mashhad, Shiraz, Yazd, and Isfahan, Iranian news agency ISNA said on Wednesday.

"These tours are outside the official agreements between Tehran and Cairo,” ISNA added.

In March, the Iranian government cancelled visas requirements for Egyptian tourists after a bilateral tourism agreement signed in February.

Egypt has suspended all incoming flights from Iran until the second half of June. On 7 April, tourism minister Hisham Zaazou said the suspension period would be used to review and evaluate travel programmes between the two countries.

On 1 April, more than 50 Iranian tourists - the first official group to visit Egypt for tourism for decades - arrived in Upper Egypt amid tight security. 

The cooperation between Cairo and Shia-majority Iran caused outrage among some ultra-conservative Sunni groups in Egypt. Dozens of protesters attempted to storm the residence of the Iranian chargé d'affaires in Cairo earlier this month to show their opposition to the move.

Tourism between the two countries has been almost non-existent since all bilateral relations were severed following Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution.



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