Kuwait: diplomats at Iranian embassy requested to leave over spying case

Kuwait: diplomats at Iranian embassy requested to leave over spying case

Kuwait: diplomats at Iranian embassy requested to leave over spying case

The Gulf state also ordered the closure of Iranian "military, cultural and trade" missions, the unnamed official added.

During the meeting with Al-Hajraf, an official with Iran's foreign ministry rejected the false charges and regretted that Kuwait City is raising groundless accusations against Tehran instead of trying to ease the pointless tensions in the region and exercising self-restraint in reaction to pressures and provocations by regional adventurous sides, Qassemi said.

In 2016, Kuwait had convicted 22 Iranian men and one Kuwaiti of spying for Iran and Shi'ite Muslim group Hezbollah.

Kuwait has ordered the Iranian ambassador to leave the country within 45 days, according to Iran's ISNA news agency. "Alireza Enayati, the Iranian ambassador to Kuwait, must leave within 48 days", the Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) said.

"Following the supreme court ruling on the case ... the government of Kuwait has chose to take measures, in accordance with diplomatic norms and the Vienna Convention, towards its relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran", said al-Sabah added. Iran denies the charges.

Kuwaiti state news agency, KUNA, cited members of the Foreign Ministry saying they will close cultural and military missions and have also made a decision to pause any cooperative ventures involving joint committees for the foreseeable future. State Minister for Cabinet Affairs Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah Al-Sabah, who is also acting information minister, confirmed Kuwait had taken diplomatic action against Iran.

The so-called Abdali cell was discovered in 2015 when a farmhouse was raided in the town of Abdali, outside of Kuwait City.

Analysts have warned the crisis could break apart the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, whose members are Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. The suspects were convicted by a lower court but the appeal process still continues.

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