Mohammed Reza Pahlavi’s marriage to Fawziya Image Credit:

1939: Egypt and Iran established diplomatic ties at an ambassadorial level. In March, their relations got a boost when Princess Fawzia, sister of Egypt’s King Farouk, married Iran’s Crown Prince Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

1952-1970: With the overthrow of the monarchy in Egypt 1952, relations with Iran became lukewarm under Jamal Abdul Nasser, who espoused Arab nationalism and liberation from Western colonialism.

1980: Revolutionary Iran cut off ties with Cairo in protest of Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel and President Anwar Sadat’s offering of asylum to the deposed Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, who died in Cairo and received a state funeral there.

1980-88: Egypt supported Iraq in an internecine war with Iran, further straining ties. Meanwhile, a street in central Tehran was named after Khalid Islambouli, an Egyptian army officer who took part in assassinating Sadat in 1981.

2007: Relations between Egypt and Iran started to show signs of improvement in economic and cultural fields. The thaw proved short-lived, however.

2008-2009: Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah openly criticised Egypt for an alleged lukewarm response to Israel’s war against the Gaza Strip. Iran also angered Egyptians by producing a documentary titled “Execution of a Pharaoh” glorifying Sadat’s assassins.

April 2009: Egypt announced it had uncovered a group linked to Hezbollah allegedly planning to carry out terrorist attacks in the country. President Husni Mubarak warned what he called “known regional powers and their hirelings” against tampering with Egypt’s stability and sovereignty.

2010: An Egyptian military court convicted 26 Egyptians and other Arab nationals of spying for Iran-backed Hezbollah, and terrorism, in April. In October, Egypt and Iran signed an agreement to resume direct flights between their two capitals for the first time since 1980.

January-February 2011:

Mubarak was toppled, heralding the rise of long-oppressed Islamists. The revolt was praised by Tehran as a “victory” for Islam and inspired by Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution. Nabeel Al Arabi, the first foreign minister in post-Mubarak Egypt, announced that Tehran is not an enemy of Cairo and that Egypt “is opening a new page with all countries, including Iran”.

May, 2011: Cairo arrested and deported an Iranian diplomat on suspicion of espionage and allegedly trying to recruit agents to operate in Arab Gulf countries with which Tehran has strained links. Tehran denied the accusation, saying it aimed to mar a ground-breaking visit by a public Egyptian delegation to Iran.

June 2012: The Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohammad Mursi took office as Egypt’s first elected civilian president, which Iranian President Mahmoud Ahamdinejad described as an “Islamic awakening in the region”. Mursi announced said that Gulf states’ security is crucial for Egypt, calling it a “red line”.

August 2012: Iranian Vice-President Hamid Baghaei made the first visit by the highest Iranian visit to Cairo in many years. He met with Mursi and invited him to attend a Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit due later that month in Tehran. Mursi proposed a contact group comprising Egypt, Iran, Turkey and Saudi Arabia to work for a peaceful solution to the Syrian crisis.

August 2012: Mursi made a historic visit to Tehran to attend the NAM conference, becoming the first Egyptian head of state to go to Iran in more than three decades. In Tehran, Mursi lashed out at the regime of Syrian President Bashar Al Assad, staunchly backed by Iran.

October 2012: Egyptian clerics, including the country’s state-appointed Mufti Ali Juma warned at a Cairo gathering of alleged plans by Shiite Iran to promote Shiism in Sunni Muslim countries, including Egypt.

January 2013: Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akhbar Salehi met Mursi in Cairo and invited him to make a second trip to Tehran. Mursi did not say if he would make the visit. In Cairo, Salehi accused the West of stirring problems between Sunni and Shiite Muslims.