According to sources, the Iranian was ambassador was given 45 days to leave the country. Kuwait ordered the expulsion of 14 other diplomats and told Iranian cultural and military missions in the country to shut down.
The government cited Iran’s links to a “spy and terror” cell, as a reason behind the actions.
Iran responded to the expulsions by filing a complaint with the Kuwaiti charge d’affaires, the Iranian news agency ISNA said, according to Reuters.
Kuwait’s information minister said that move was taken in “accordance with diplomatic norms and in abidance with the Vienna conventions with regards to its relationship with the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
Iranian news agency, ISNA, linked the move by Kuwait to ‘Saudi interventionist policies’.
“Under the pressure of Saudi interventionist policies, and the baseless accusation of Iranian interference … (Kuwait said) Alireza Enayati, the Iranian ambassador, must leave,” ISNA said.
Saudi Arabia severed its diplomatic ties with Iran last year, and tension between the two countries increased as Tehran and Riyadh exchanged accusations of supporting terrorism in the Middle East.
“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia fully supports the measures taken by brotherly state of Kuwait against the Iranian diplomatic mission…,” Saudi state news agency SPA quoted a foreign ministry statement as saying.
Kuwait – small country on the Persian Gulf, is predominantly Sunni Muslim, with a significant Shiite minority.
Relations between Iran and Kuwait worsened after Kuwait convicted 23 men – including one Iranian – of spying for Iran and Lebanese Shi’ite Muslim group Hezbollah.
Tehran denied any involvement in the incident.