Teheran, July 21 (IANS) Iran’s foreign ministry has summoned Kuwait’s charge d’affaires after the Gulf state closed the Iranian cultural, military and trade offices and ordered the number of Iranian diplomats there to be cut amid a spying row, the semi-official news agency Fars reported on Thursday.
Kuwait had also decided to freeze any activities involving joint committees between the two countries, state news agency KUNA reported, citing a foreign ministry source.
Last year Kuwait convicted 23 men — one Iranian and the rest Kuwaiti — of spying for Iran and Lebanese Shia Muslim militant group Hezbollah after a haul of guns and explosives was found during a raid of the so-called ‘Abdali cell’ in 2015.
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.
The row comes as Kuwait is trying to mediate an end to the Gulf’s worst diplomatic crisis in years, after Saudi Arabia and its allies cut ties with Qatar over accusations it is too close to Iran and is funding Islamic extremists.