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Egypt Cancels all Flights, Tourism Ties with Iran

Egypt officially announced the severance of all tourism activities with Iran, including direct flights renewed just last March.
By Adam Ross
First Publish: 10/1/2013, 9:00 PM

Airplane (illustrative)
Airplane (illustrative)
Flash 90

Egypt has announced the formal cessation of all direct flights and tourism ties with Iran.

The announcement came Tuesday, with Egypt stating it has ordered an end to all tourism activities with Iran. These had increased considerably during the yearlong rule of Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Whereas deposed Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi tried to improve relations with Iran, seeing it as a natural ally, the new regime is trying to distance itself from Tehran.

The Egyptian security establishment is currently fighting a bitter battle against Islamist terrorists who have a grip on some parts of the country. Yesterday three Egyptian policemen were gunned down in Sinai.

"The security situation does not currently permit the Ministry of Tourism to support travel to Iran, including flights and trips," said ministry spokeswoman, Rasha Azaiza .

In contrast to the Egyptian decision to cancel flights to Iran, Tehran announced Monday that it was seeking to establish direct flights to the US in continued efforts to revitalize US-Iranian ties.

The move, along with the general rapprochement Iran is seeking with the US, has raised alarm bells across other Middle Eastern countries.

A Saudi journalist close to the Saudi monarchy yesterday criticized the warming of relations between Washington and Tehran, following the phone conversation between US President Barack Obama and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

According to the report by Israel's Channel 2, journalist Abdel Rahman Rashed said that if the US did not continue to take a firm attitude against Iran, Middle Eastern countries would have to face a future with an Iran armed with nuclear weapons.

In an article published in London's Asharq Al Awsat newspaper, Rashid wrote that the phone call between Obama and Rouhani shocked the Gulf states, Jordan, Turkey, and Israel as well as other countries.