Kuwait parliament speaker urges government to issue statement on spy cell

May 2, 2010

Kuwait’s parliament speaker on Sunday urged the government to issue a formal statement on reports that the security agencies had busted a spy ring working for Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.

“It is too premature for me to comment on the issue, but I would like the government to issue a statement and clarify whatever can be divulged about the investigations,” Jassem Al Kharafi said. “I hope that there are no spy cells, whether supported by Iran or any other country,” Al Kharafi was quoted as saying by Kuwait News Agency (KUNA).

The veteran speaker said that relations between Kuwait and Iran were excellent and did not warrant the existence of an espionage ring.

 “We appreciate the Iranian denial and I hope that the information published by the media is not true as we are keen on good relations with Tehran,” he said.  Iran on Saturday and Sunday denied it had any relation with the spy cell.

Al Kharafi said that he was not sure about the reasons for the government’s silence on the issue, but added that he did not receive any request from MPs to hold a special parliament session to debate the reported cell.

No official comment was issued on the news first published by Al Qabas newspaper on Saturday about Kuwaiti security agencies busting a spy cell working for Tehran.

On Sunday, Mohammad Mohsin Al Basiri, the Kuwaiti government spokesman and state minister for parliament affairs, said that the reports published by newspapers and attributed to officials were not true.

“We regret the way the media dealt with an issue related to national security. The reports, quoting unnamed government officials, were not accurate and no official has given a statement on this issue,” Al Basiri said.  

“The security agencies are performing their work normally within the rule of the law and according to the interests of the nation. They are investigating the information they are receiving and will transfer the relevant details to the judiciary in order to preserve the country’s security and stability,” he told KUNA.

However, Al Basiri said that the media should be careful and act responsibly about reports linked with the national security. “The media can always refer to the competent authorities to obtain the information they want,” he said.

However, conservative MP Mohammad Al Hayef warned that there would be a special session to discuss the security breaches if the government did not make public statements about the spy cell.

“I reiterate my call to the government to freeze all agreements with Iran, recall our ambassador to Iran and expel the Iranian ambassador from Bahrain,” he said. “That would be the first step by the government to rectify the situation because we have the feeling of a dejas-vu, since the political situation is reminiscent of the times just preceding the Iraqi invasion in 1990,” Al Hayef said.  


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About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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