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Iran and Bahrain exchange threats of embassy closure while Kuwait confirms expulsion of Iranian diplomats

04/21/11 Source: Radio Zamaneh

Iran said it will definitely close the Bahraini embassy in Tehran, if Bahrain follows through with recent musings to close the Iranian embassy in Manama.


Mehr News Agency quotes Hossein Sobhaninia of the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, saying Bahrain will have committed "an irreparable error" if it shuts down the Iranian embassy "under pressure from the U.S. and Western governments."

The Kuwaiti daily Al-Jarida reported on Tuesday that the Bahrain parliament has approved a bill to close down Iranian embassy in Manama, repossess the building and hand it over to government organizations.

Sobhaninia said Iran's diplomatic offices should respond in kind to such developments in Bahrain and protect Iran's interests in the region.

He added that Bahrain and the Arab countries of the region should realize that "being influenced by the U.S. and the West is not in their interest."

Bahrain has been facing popular protests over the past two months. In March, Bahrain called on its Gulf Cooperation Council partners to assist it in crushing the protests. Saudi and UAE troops are in Bahrain to take part in widespread crackdowns.

Iran has condemned the presence of foreign troops in Bahrain and called on the Sunni monarchy to heed the demands of the protesters, who mostly come from Bahrain's Shiite majority.

The tension between Iran and Bahrain has spread through the region, with Bahrain and the GCC accusing Iran of interfering in their internal affairs. Kuwait has accused Iranian diplomats of spying in their country and expelled a number of them for this charge.

Iran has denied all Kuwaiti charges and Bahraini accusations and insists there are no ulterior motives behind its support for protesters in Bahrain. Iran says it is only motivated by its moral duty and concern for human rights violations in the Island Monarchy.

Kuwait confirms expulsion of Iranian diplomats

Kuwait's foreign minister announced that Islamic Republic diplomats have been expelled from the country. Agence France Presse reports that Sheik Mohammad al-Sabbah said in Abu Dhabi that the Iranian diplomats were expelled for spying in Kuwait.


On March 31 Kuwait announced that three Iranian diplomats have to leave Kuwait for charges of spying. Kuwaiti foreign minister linked the diplomats with a Revolutionary Guards spying ring.

Prior to that two Iranians and a Kuwaiti were sentenced to death for charge of espionage. Kuwaiti media wrote that while the prisoners had confessed to the crimes earlier, they denied the charges in court and claimed the confessions were extracted from them under torture.

Following reports that "an Iranian spying network" has been exposed in Kuwait, Kuwaiti parliament has called for the expulsion of Iranian ambassador.

The Islamic Republic has denied all the charges and in a tit for tat move, expelled three Kuwaiti diplomats.

Tensions between Iran and the Arab countries in the Persian Gulf region have intensified in the past month.

Iran has harshly criticized the crackdown on protesters in Bahrain and the presence of Saudi forces to crush the uprising.

Gulf Cooperation Council members, which is made up of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and the UAE, have accused Iran of meddling in their internal affairs and conspiring against their national security.

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