Kuwait boots Iran project, some en­voys

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - INTERNATIONAL -

KUWAIT CITY — Kuwait said Thurs­day that it is clos­ing the Ira­nian cul­tural mis­sion and call­ing for a re­duc­tion in the num­ber of Ira­nian diplo­mats sta­tioned in the coun­try, deep­en­ing a rift be­tween the Per­sian Gulf Arab states and Tehran.

The of­fi­cial Kuwait News Agency an­nounced the move in a brief state­ment, link­ing the de­ci­sion to the case of a ter­ror cell bro­ken up in 2015 that author­i­ties al­lege had con­tacts with Iran and the Le­banese Shi­ite mil­i­tant group Hezbol­lah.

The Ira­nian am­bas­sador to Kuwait has been no­ti­fied of the de­ci­sion, Kuwait News Agency re­ported. Em­bassy work­ers did not im­me­di­ately re­spond to re­quests for com­ment.

Iran’s Is­lamic Repub­lic News Agency re­ported that the coun­try’s For­eign Min­istry sum­moned the Kuwaiti charge d’af­faires in Tehran to ex­plain the move. The min­istry is protest­ing the call to cut the num­ber of diplo­mats sta­tioned in Kuwait, the news agency said.

Later, the min­istry’s web­site re­ported that the spokesman, Bahram Ghasemi, re­jected all ac­cu­sa­tions against Iran and said Tehran will take coun­ter­ac­tion.

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