Kuwait expels 15 Iranian diplomats

Kuwait asks 15 Iranian diplomats to leave the country. Iran threatens to reciprocate.

Ben Ariel,

Flag of Kuwait
Flag of Kuwait

Kuwait on Thursday asked 15 Iranian diplomats to leave the country, angering Iran which threatened to reciprocate.

A senior Kuwaiti official had earlier told AFP that the 15 diplomats had been asked to leave the country.

The move follows a court case in which 21 people were found guilty of belonging to a cell that had been formed and trained by Iran's Revolutionary Guards, which Tehran has denied.

Iran later said the accusations that Tehran was behind a terrorist cell in the country 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 foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi in a statement on his Telegram channel, according to AFP.

"It is regrettable that Kuwaiti officials, in this sensitive situation in the region, instead of making an effort to reduce useless tensions... have targeted the Islamic republic with baseless accusations," an Iranian foreign ministry official told the Kuwaiti charge d'affaires during their meeting, according to Ghasemi.

The Iranian IRNA news agency said there were currently 20 diplomats working at Iran's embassy in Kuwait, but it was confirmed whether Iran's ambassador Alireza Enayati is among those being expelled.

Kuwait greatly reduced its diplomatic presence in Tehran last year after its ally Saudi Arabia completely severed relations with Iran, keeping only a charge d'affaires and two officials.