Cairo — Iran once saw the Arab Spring uprisings as a prime opportunity, hoping it would open the door for it to spread its influence in countries whose autocratic leaders long shunned Tehran's ruling clerics. But it is finding the new order no more welcoming. Egypt is a prime example.
Egypt has sporadically looked more friendly toward Iran since the ouster of Hosni Mubarak 16 months ago, and the rise of the Islamists here fueled the expectations of Tehran's clerical regime that it could make inroads.
Instead, it has been met with the deep mistrust felt by many in mainly Sunni Muslim Egypt toward non-Arab, Shiite-dominated Iran as well as Cairo's reluctance to sacrifice good relations with Iran's rivals, the United States and the oil-rich Arab nations of the Gulf.
In a sign of the mistrust, Egyptian security and religious authorities have raised an alarm in recent weeks that Iran was trying to promote Shiism in the country.
That brought warnings from the Sunni Islamists that Iran had hoped would be friendly to their religious-based leadership.