Arab countries in the Persian Gulf region are expressing grave concern over what they call Iranian interference in their affairs, after Iran spoke out against the presence of Saudi troops in Bahrain.
At a meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council in Riyadh on Sunday, foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, UAE and Kuwait protested the “continuing interference” of Iran in the internal affairs of the six member states of the council.
In a statement, they announced that they condemn “Iranian interference in the internal affairs of Bahrain, which is in violation of international pacts.”
Iran has severely criticized Saudi Arabia for sending hundreds of troops to Bahrain to quell protests by majority Shiites against Bahrain’s Sunni family.
The Iranian parliament’s National Security and Foreign Affairs Commission issued a statement last week saying Saudi Arabia was “playing with fire” by sending its forces into Bahrain. Saudi Arabia and its Gulf partners say the troops were sent under a joint Gulf Cooperation Council defence agreement.
The GCC meeting also condemned what they referred to as “the blatant Iranian interference in Kuwait through planting spy cells in Kuwaiti territory.”
Last week Kuwait threatened to expel three Iranian diplomats over spying allegations and it recalled its ambassador from Iran.
Iran has denied the spying allegations and any interference in Kuwait’s internal affairs.
Three men, two Iranians and one Kuwaiti national, were sentenced to death earlier for involvement in an alleged spy ring.