A crowd of ultra-conservative Salafist demonstrators in Egypt have tried to break into the home of a senior Iranian diplomat to protest against the warming of relations between Cairo and Tehran.
They threw stones at the building, venting anger over what they claim is an Iranian attempt to spread Shia Islam in a predominantly Sunni Muslim Egypt. They also attacked the euronews team reporting on the event.
“Egypt is a Sunni Muslim country,” said one protester “and we will not have Shi’ites coming to Egypt, because they insult the Prophet Mohammad and the companions of the Prophet and if they come here we will kill them.”
Iran’s chargé d’affaires called the allegations of spreading Shia Islam a ‘major lie.’ Diplomatic relations between the two countries were broken off after Iran’s Islamic Revolution in 1979, but have warmed considerably since the election of President Mursi.
Our correspondent in Cairo, Mohammed Shaikhibrahim,reports: “The resumption of Egyptian-Iranian relations after years of hostility has provoked radical Islamist groups in Egypt, who blame Iran for unwelcome interference in Sunni nations, and the bloodshed in Syria and Iraq.”
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