TEHRAN, Iran — Once close and friendly, relations between Iran and Egypt went sour after the 1979 Islamic Revolution. At a time when no country was willing to host the deposed Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, then-Egyptian President Anwar Sadat rolled out the red carpet. Ultimately, after months of traveling through Mexico, the Bahamas, the United States and Morocco, the shah finally returned to Egypt, where he died. This occurred against the backdrop of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s stated opposition against Israel, and particularly against Egypt and Israel’s signing of the September 1978 Camp David Accords.
Needless to say, the Islamic Republic and Egypt got off on the wrong foot from the get-go. Considering that the two countries have not historically maintained considerable economic ties — even under the shah — it is not surprising that bilateral relations turned dark in the face of new tension. The Iran-Egypt relationship further deteriorated after the revolutionary government named a street in Tehran after Khalid Islambouli, the man who assassinated Sadat. Meanwhile, both sides started to produce propaganda films about each other. This status quo was maintained throughout the presidency of Hosni Mubarak.