Iran summons Kuwaiti charge d'affaires over "spying" row

22 July, 2017, 00:43 | Author: Brian Mcdaniel
  • Kuwait orders Iran ambassador to leave country within 48 days

State news agency Kuna reported on Thursday that the Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry had asked Iran to shut down its cultural mission in the country.

Kuwait on Thursday expelled Iranian diplomats and closed some embassy missions after the emirate's top court convicted a "terror" cell of links to the Islamic republic, prompting Iran to threaten reciprocal measures.

Kuwait's move came following a court ruling past year that implicated some Iranians in a spying case, known as the "Abdali cell".

"It is regrettable that the Kuwaiti officials, are acting based on provocations raised by adventurist regional sides and are leveling accusations against Iran in the current sensitive conditions, instead of doing their best to reduce tensions", Qassemi stated.

"The government of the state of Kuwait chose to take actions in accordance with diplomatic norms and in abidance with the Vienna conventions with regards to its relationship with the Islamic Republic of Iran", following the court ruling, acting Information Minister Sheikh Mohammad al-Mubarak al-Sabah said.

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The row comes as Kuwait is trying to mediate an end to the Gulf's worst diplomatic crisis in years, after Saudi Arabia and its allies cut ties with Qatar over accusations it is too close to Iran and is funding Islamic extremists.

The KUNA report further said the Iranian ambassador to Kuwait has been notified.

On Wednesday, Kuwait's Interior Ministry published photos of 16 people who were sentenced in absentia by a court in the Abdali cell case.

Kuwaiti judiciary had earlier charged 25 of its Shia nationals and an Iranian with spying for Tehran and the Lebanese Hezbollah movement.

In August 2015, Kuwait said it had busted the 26-member cell and seized arms, ammunition and explosives from them. The leader of the cell was handed life in prison sentence while 20 others received various prison terms.

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