Kuwaiti pro-Iran espionage charges are baseless, Tehran says

May 30, 2012

Tehran has rejected a Kuwaiti court verdict of life terms for Iranian nationals for alleged espionage activities, saying that the prison sentences were “surprising” and “totally unacceptable”.

“Recently some baseless claims have been made which are surprising and we consider them as unacceptable,” Ramin Mehmanparast, the foreign ministry spokesman, said.

“Such verdicts are not acceptable by any means and the fact that this issue had already been dismissed by Kuwaiti officials, but is being raised again surprises us,” he said at a ministry briefing.

Mehmanparast said Kuwait did not give Iran consular access to the Iranians.

“We hope that Kuwait will review its approach and we witness the release of our country’s nationals,” he said, quoted by the Mehr news agency.

In Kuwait City, Shaikh Sabah Al Khalid, the foreign minister, said the ministry was waiting for the details of the ruling to decide on the “procedures normally followed in such cases.”

Vehemently denied

On Monday, Kuwait’s Court of Appeals, looking into the trial of the seven defendants, commuted the death sentence of two Iranians and a Kuwaiti national who worked for the Kuwaiti army at the time of their arrest. It also upheld a life sentence against a stateless man, confirmed the acquittal of two other Iranians, a man and a woman, and acquitted a Syrian who had been sentenced by a lower court to life in prison.

The alleged seven-member cell was busted in May 2010, but Iran has vehemently denied any role and insisted that its nationals were innocent and should be released.

The case strained relations between Kuwait and Iran, prompting both capitals to expel diplomats. However, the ambassadors returned to their posts shortly after a visit by Ali Akbar Salehi, Iran’s foreign minister, to Kuwait City.




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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