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Egypt minister: No Iranian tourism here just yet

Associated Press
In this Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013 photo, an Egyptian couple walks on a bridge over the Nile River near Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt. The Nile is Egypt's primary source of water and most of the population live along its banks as it runs through the country north to south from the border with Sudan to the Mediterranean Sea. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

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CAIRO (AP) — Egypt's tourism minister says a campaign to bring Iranian visitors to Egypt will remain suspended because of national security considerations.

Hesham Zazou, speaking at an economic conference Tuesday, said the return of Iranian tourists must be part of a general improvement in relations.

Under Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, Zazou visited Tehran to lure Iranian tourists and flights between the two countries were briefly resumed. But Egypt quickly halted its campaign following opposition from ultraconservative Sunni groups who view Shiite Iran as a threat to their strain of Islam.

Morsi was toppled July 3. Zazou's remarks, carried by the official Middle East News Agency, indicate the policy will continue under the new military-backed government.

Relations between Egypt and Iran soured after Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution. Diplomatic relations remain severed.

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