Egypt has suspended tourist flights from Iran following an outcry from hardline Sunni Muslims angered about visitors from the mostly Shiite country, only a week after direct flights between the two countries resumed for the first time in more than three decades.
In comments carried by Egypt's state news agency late Sunday, Tourist Minister Hesham Zaazoua did not give a reason for the move. The suspension, which will last until June, comes days after a group of ultraconservative Salafis, angered by the Egyptian government's push to improve ties with Tehran, threw rocks and tried to storm the residence of Iran's top diplomat in Cairo.
The crowd that gathered outside the diplomat's home in Cairo on Friday, chanted "Egypt is Sunni," and "No Shiites in Egypt!" The first tour of some 50 Iranian visitors was limited to Egypt's south, away from potentially sensitive religious sites revered by Shiites, mostly in the capital.