Iran’s embassy in Kuwait. Reuters photo

July 20, 2017

Kuwait told the Iranian embassy on Thursday to reduce its staff and close down some of its technical offices following a court ruling that implicated some Iranians in a spying case, state news agency KUNA reported.

“The government of the state of Kuwait decided 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,” acting Information Minister Sheikh Mohammad al-Mubarak al-Sabah said in a separate statement.

The agency, citing a foreign ministry source, said Kuwait also decided to freeze any activities involving joint committees between the two countries following the ruling by Kuwait’s top court in a case known as the “Abdali cell”.

Last year Kuwait convicted 23 men – one Iranian and the rest Kuwaiti – of spying for Iran and Lebanese group Hezbollah after a cache of guns and explosives were discovered in a raid of the “Abdali cell” in 2015.

The source expressed regret that relations between the two countries witnessed such a negative development.

The supreme court has sentenced the mastermind of the cell to life in jail and condemned 20 others to various prison terms for links with Iran and Lebanon’s “Hezbollah” and plotting attacks in Kuwait.

Asharq Al-Awsat 

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Track PersiaTrack Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.