Egyptian officials say Iranians travelling with tour groups will soon be allowed to obtain visas on arrival in the south of Sinai Peninsula, home to the secured resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, as Egypt, Iran and other Middle Eastern countries are taking steps to ease tensions.
"We will evaluate the experience of their arrival in South Sinai as a first step, and building on that, we'll determine if they will be admitted in other places," Tourism Minister Ahmed Issa told Reuters.
The decision, which is part of measures announced on March 27 aimed at boosting Egypt’s tourism revenues, comes as Cairo has mended a rift with Qatar and is re-establishing relations with Turkey.
Relations between Egypt and Iran have generally been fraught in recent decades, but the two countries have maintained diplomatic contacts. Cairo has accused Tehran of meddling in the domestic affairs of Arab nations, including Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen.
Earlier this month, Egypt's ally Saudi Arabia and Iran agreed to resume diplomatic ties and re-open embassies following years of hostility.
After the agreement was announced, Tehran vowed to strengthen its relationship with Cairo.
"Egypt is an important country in the region, and what the region needs is synergy between Iran and Egypt," Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani said on March 13.