January 12, 2016
A court in Kuwait has sentenced two men to death after finding them guilty of spying for Iran and plotting attacks in the emirate.
One of the men was a Kuwaiti and the other an Iranian convicted in absentia.
They were convicted alongside 20 other Kuwaitis, who were sentenced to between five and 25 years in prison.
The sentencing comes amid heightened tensions between Sunni-ruled Gulf states and Iran over Saudi Arabia’s execution of a prominent Shia cleric.
Kuwait recalled its ambassador from Iran last week in protest at the storming of the Saudi embassy in Tehran by a crowd angered by the killing of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr.
Iran denounced the attack on the embassy, but also accused Riyadh of “promoting sectarian hatred” and seeking to “drag the entire region into confrontation”.
Kuwaiti prosecutors had accused those convicted on Tuesday of being part of a 26-member “terrorist cell” that had committed acts violating state sanctity, collaborating with Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement to carry out hostile schemes against the emirate.
They were also accused of possessing explosives, guns, ammunition and unlicensed eavesdropping devices, with the intention of perpetrating crimes.
One of the 26 alleged members of the cell was fined 5,000 Kuwaiti dinars ($16,450; £11,350), while three others were acquitted.