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Kuwait orders Iran ambassador to leave country


Earlier on Thursday, Kuwait ordered Iran to reduce its embassy staff and shut down technical offices, Reuters reported, citing state news agency KUNA. The note also said that 15 Iranian diplomats would have to leave the country within 45 days, leaving only four Iranian diplomats in Kuwait.

Twenty-one men - all Kuwaiti nationals except one Iranian - were convicted a year ago on various charges of spying and planning terror attacks, but were then acquitted on appeal by a lower court and set free.

Some of the suspects in the Abdali case who were acquitted on appeal but re-convicted by Kuwait's Supreme Court last month are on the run and have allegedly escaped to Iran.

According to Kuwaiti diplomatic sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, the number of Iranian diplomats in Kuwait will be decreased from 14 to nine, Turkey's Anadolu news agency reported. Last year, when Riyadh severed ties with Tehran, Kuwait city maintained diplomatic relations with Iran but only at the level of a chargé d'affaires.

Kuwait's official KUNA new agency reported Thursday that Kuwait City chose to freeze any activities involving joint committees between Iran and the Arab country following the ruling by Kuwait's top court in a case known as the "Abdali cell".


In a separate statement, acting Information Minister for Kuwait, Sheikh Mohammad al-Mubarak al-Sabah, stated that: "The government of the state of Kuwait made a decision 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".

Kuwaiti authorities busted what they said was a "terrorism" cell with ties to Iran in August 2015 and seized large quantities of arms, ammunition and explosives.

Khatami also warned Iran's neighboring states against cordial relations with the U.S. and emphasized that Washington would treat them in the same way it did with the executed Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein. Iran reserves the right to a reciprocal measure, said the foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi in a statement on his Telegram channel.

Kuwaiti courts convicted members of the so-called "Abdali cell" of working for the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) and Lebanon's Hezbollah resistance movement.

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