Tehran expelled three Kuwaiti diplomats today, a reaction to the recent expulsion of three Iranian diplomats from Kuwait.
Press TV, Iran’s English-language news service, and Kuwaiti media confirmed the report.
Iranian media reports that foreign minister Ali Akbar Salehi has given the three Kuwaiti diplomats 10 days to leave Iran. Asr-e Iran website quotes Al-Jaridah newspaper saying: “Knowledgeable sources in the Kuwaiti foreign ministry have said Iran’s move was predictable after the expulsion of Iranian diplomats. Despite the mutual expulsion of diplomats, relations continue between the two countries.”
Three Kuwati MPs have called for the expulsion of all personnel from the Iranian embassy in Kuwait and and end to all political, economic, cultural cooperation, as well as air and sea travel between the two countries. The three MPs have also said Kuwait should no longer accepts workers from Lebanon, Syria and Iran.
According to a top Kuwaiti foreign ministry official, the state members of the Gulf Cooperation Council are reviewing the possibility of ceasing relations with Iran.
Al-Arabiah cites a report in Kuwait’s Al-Seyassah daily that Kuwait’s foreign ministry has told the Islamic Republic charge d’affaires that another four Iranian diplomats should leave Iran as soon as possible “in connection with spying activities.”
Iran has denied those charges. Ali Akbar Salehi said last week that the whole matter was a “conspiracy aimed at sowing discord among between the two countries (Iran and Kuwait).”
In a press conference yesterday in Tehran, Salehi said allegations that Iran has been spying in Kuwait are “unfounded accusations.”
“We announced this in talks held with Kuwait’s foreign minister,” Salehi told reporters. “But they said, ‘You are interfering in Kuwait’s internal affairs’ …and claimed Iran’s actions harm Kuwait.”
“We announced that if we intended to harm Kuwait,” Salehi said, “we would have done so when Kuwait was at its most fragile after Saddam’s attack on Kuwait.” He added: “While Kuwait had assisted Saddam in his attack on Iran, Iran did not close its door to Kuwaitis when Saddam invaded Kuwait, and we graciously opened the doors of brotherhood and sheltered Kuwaiti people and officials.”