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Kuwait: Iranian diplomats may be ejected for spying

Kuwait, April 1, 2011

Kuwait's foreign minister said on Thursday it may expel three Iranian diplomats over a spying row and his government had withdrawn its ambassador from Tehran, but Iran denied interfering in Kuwait's internal affairs.

Sheikh Mohammad Al-Salem Al-Sabah accused Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards of being behind a spy cell in Kuwait, whose relations with Iran have deteriorated over the past year.

"The government will take the required actions towards the (three) diplomats and they should be kicked out," the foreign minister told reporters at the Kuwaiti parliament. He gave no time frame for any expulsion.   

Gulf countries are concerned over what they see as the ambition of Iran, a non-Arab Shi'ite Muslim power, to extend its influence in Arab countries mostly under Sunni rule.

Iran's state broadcaster IRIB said on its website Iran's Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi had a telephone conversation with his Kuwaiti counterpart.

"Iran's Foreign Minister emphasised on Iran's fundamental stance on avoiding interferences in other countries' domestic issues ... and also stressed stability and security in all countries specially in Kuwait," IRIB quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast as saying.

Earlier this week, a Kuwaiti court sentenced three men -- two Iranians and a Kuwaiti -- to death for being part of an alleged Iranian spy ring in a case that has strained relations between Kuwait and Tehran.   

"Kuwait only expresses its goodwill towards ... its neighbour Iran, but in return we see that the Revolutionary Guards planted this cell to target the security of Kuwait," Sheikh Mohammed said. - Reuters

Tags: Iran | Kuwait | Diplomat |

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