Egypt’s tourism minister, Hesham Zaazoua spoke out during an interview with the Associated Press in Cairo, Egypt. He stated that allowing Iranian tourists to come visit Egypt will not be a threat even after being banned for nearly three decades and could make a rise in the tourism industry seeing that it has been struggling for some time now. This interview with the Associated Press brought a lot of “controversy over allowing Iranians to visit Egypt after decades of frozen diplomatic relations suspicion – especially among ultraconservatives – that Iran aspires to spread its Shiite faith to the Sunni world.” Egypt is still working to “normalize relations” with Iran, long after Egypt signed it’s 1979 peace treaty with Israel and Iran. The relations between Iran and Egypt have begun to improve drastically after the former President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt stepped down in 2011 due to a “popular uprising.”
The new Egypt’s President Mohammed Morsi and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran have “exchanged visits, which have opened new avenues of cooperation between the former foes.” Zaazoua stated that Iranians are tourists and that they are not coming to Egpyt to create a revolution. He also said that Iranian visitors “would be restricted in their movements, would not be visiting religious sites.” This will be interesting to see the outcome of this. But seeing how Egypt is struggling, they could use all the help they can get. Egypt needs to develop tourism and air traffic and as well as econonmic and commericial ties with Iran. Both Iran and Egpyt could have a lot to gain from this move. If they increase there relations it could create a “power equation” that could help benefit the region and could as well shape the balance of power in the Middle East.
It would make sense if Iran and Egypt improve relations between each other and could prevent the possibility of western expansion over the region. ” The expansion of relations between Iran and Egypt as two powerful regional countries will have positive impact on the region and can prevent further expansion of the Western domination over the region,” said Ahmadreza Dastegheib, deputy chairman of Iran Majlis Foreign Policy and National Security Committee. With this, it would be greatly recommendable to also strengthen political, economical and military ties between both of these nations.