by WorldTribune Staff, July 21, 2017
Kuwait on July 20 expelled 15 Iranian diplomats in what was seen as a follow-up to the conviction last month of 21 people accused of belonging to a terror cell linked to Teheran.
A senior Kuwaiti official told AFP that the 15 diplomats had been asked to leave the country.
Kuwait’s top court last month found 21 people guilty of belonging to a cell that prosecutors said had been formed and trained by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
Iran said the accusations that it was behind a terrorist cell in Kuwait were “baseless” and threatened to reciprocate Kuwait’s move.
“Iran’s strong objection has been communicated to Kuwait’s charge d’affaires. It was reiterated that Iran reserves the right to a reciprocal measure,” said Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi in a statement on his Telegram channel, according to AFP.
Kuwait greatly reduced its diplomatic presence in Teheran last year after its ally Saudi Arabia completely severed relations with Iran, keeping only a charge d’affaires and two officials, Israel’s Artuz Sheva reported.
Saudi Arabia expressed its support for Kuwait’s move, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.
Harvard scholar and Iranian affairs analyst Majid Rafizadeh said Kuwait’s move is appropriate.
“Before it was too late, and before Iran had established its terror cell or proxy, as it has done in many nations, Kuwait took action,” he told Arab News.