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      Egypt Suspends Tourist Flights from Iran

      Just a week after Cairo resumed tourist flights from Tehran after more than 30 years, Egypt has already suspended them until June.
      By Chana Ya'ar
      First Publish: 4/8/2013, 6:34 PM

      Muhammad Ali Mosque, Cairo
      Muhammad Ali Mosque, Cairo
      Flash 90

      Just a week after Cairo resumed tourist flights from Tehran after more than 30 years, Egypt has already suspended them until June.

      Tourism Minister Hesham Za’azoua gave no reason for the suspension, which was announced late Sunday by Egypt’s state news agency MENA.

      But a group of some 50 Iranian tourists who visited southern Egypt last week prompted criticism and then inspired protests by locals claiming Iran was trying to spread Shi’ite Islam in the Sunni Muslim world.

      Post-Islamic Revolution Shi’ite Iran froze relations with Sunni Muslim Egypt after Cairo signed its peace treaty with Israel in 1979. 

      Ties between the two thawed, however, following the election last June of Muslim Brotherhood-backed Islamist President Mohamed Morsi.

      Morsi was elected a year after the January 25 Revolution in 2011 that toppled the 31-year regime of former President Hosni Mubarak as part of the Arab Spring uprisings that swept the region.