December 20, 2016
Iran has released four Kuwaitis arrested several days ago in the Islamic republic’s southwestern region, Kuwait’s deputy foreign minister said on Monday.
Khaled Al-Jarallah noted on Monday that the four Kuwaiti detainees were handed to the emirate’s embassy in Tehran and soon will be returning home.
Kuwait summoned the Iranian ambassador on Friday and demanded the release of its four citizens who had been detained in the Ahvaz area.
The ministry has said it was “following up closely with Iranian authorities” to secure the release of the four nationals detained in the Ahvaz area, according to a statement carried by the state-run Kuwait News Agency (KUNA).
KUNA quoted on Monday Khaled al-Jarallah, the oil-rich country’s deputy minister of foreign affairs, as saying Iranian authorities were “positively cooperative.” Officials say they’ll return to Kuwait on Tuesday.
Kuwaiti newspaper Alrai reported the four were on a fishing trip when they strayed into Iranian waters and were detained Friday. The reason behind the arrest was not clear.
Kuwait recalled its ambassador to Iran in January following attacks by protesters on two Saudi diplomatic posts in the Islamic Republic, though its embassy continues to operate. Those attacks came after Saudi Arabia executed a prominent Shiite cleric.
A Kuwaiti and an Iranian were sentenced to death in January by a court in Kuwait for spying for Iran and Lebanon’s Shi’ite group Hizballah.
Kuwait has joined other Gulf states in pulling its ambassador out of Tehran in January, rallying behind regional powerhouse Saudi Arabia after the kingdom’s embassy in Tehran was torched by protesters.