Iran expelled three Kuwaiti diplomats “in retaliation” for Kuwait’s decision to kick out Iranian envoys, state-run Press TV reported.
Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed Al-Sabah said on March 31 that several Iranian diplomats were “persona non grata and must be expelled.” Press TV said three Iranian diplomats were expelled on April 2.
The move came after a Kuwaiti court sentenced two Iranians and a Kuwaiti to death for involvement in a spy ring and “proved this cell’s direct links to Iran,” the Al-Qabas newspaper reported on March 31, quoting Sheikh Mohammed. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad rejected the claims on April 4 saying that Kuwait is a friend of Iran.
Tension has been building between Iran and nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council since Saudi Arabia and other members including Kuwait sent forces to Bahrain last month to support the government’s crackdown against pro-democracy protesters.
Iran’s government has condemned the troop deployment as “meddling” and warned that the move may prove “incendiary” for the region.
Bahrain, where a Sunni Muslim monarchy rules over a Shiite- majority population, has accused Shiite Iran of fomenting unrest, without citing any evidence.