Kuwait’s foreign ministry has rejected a statement issued by the Iranian embassy following the referral of suspects to a court over their espionage links with Iran and Lebanese militia Hezbollah, saying it was not consistent with basic diplomacy norms.
A spokesperson said the foreign ministry regretted and rejected the embassy statement for ignoring basic diplomacy norms that require resorting to official communication channels between governments when seeking information regarding a specific issue, and not going to the public media instead.
“The statement by the Iranian embassy in Kuwait regrettably ignored the official Kuwaiti government’s stance regarding the issue at hand about which the Kuwaiti cabinet made an official statement stressing the need not to pass any judgement by anyone before the Kuwaiti court decides on the case first and foremost,” the spokesperson said, Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) reported.
“The decision by the public prosecutor to issue a gag order against publishing any news regarding the Abdeli cell shows Kuwait’s keenness on not having the issue discussed in public at this time for fear of its negative impact on the progress of the case, thereby harming it, and at the same time to ensure total fairness,” the spokesperson said.
On Tuesday, Kuwait’s public prosecution said 26 defendants, including one Iranian, would stand trial for the possession of weapons, ammunition and explosives and espionage for Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah group.
It said that 24 defendants faced charges of engaging in acts likely to undermine the unity and safety of Kuwait and of intelligence with Iran and Lebanese group Hezbollah.
In its statement late on Thursday, the embassy downplayed the significance of the terrorist cell and of the charges of espionage, saying the case was a domestic Kuwaiti issue pertaining mainly to the discovery of weapons and ammunition.
The embassy said it regretted the move to implicate Iran in the case and called upon the Kuwaiti authorities to communicate the identity and “alleged role” of the Iranian suspect.
The embassy blasted Kuwaiti media for its “negative incitement against the Kuwaiti-Iranian relations” and for “targeting Iran based on flimsy charges, so far unproven by the judicial authorities.”
On Wednesday, Kuwait’s cabinet voiced “deep indignation and condemnation over the heinous acts and grave charges” revealed by the indictment of 26 people for the illegal possession of arms and contacts with Iran and Hezbollah.
“The charges involve dimensions and risks that pose a threat to the nation’s security, sovereignty and stability, as well as to its unity and territorial integrity, particularly in light of the huge amounts of explosives, arms and ammunition seized by the security bodies last month, and the way they were hidden,” Shaikh Mohammad Abdullah Al Mubarak Al Sabah, the state minister for cabinet affairs, said following the extraordinary session, quoted by Kuwait News Agency (Kuna).
The cabinet stressed it would never tolerate targeting or harming Kuwaiti citizens and expats and that all the concerned agencies would take the necessary measures to preserve security and safety in the country.
The session, chaired by Prime Minister Shaikh Jaber Al Mubarak Al Hamad Al Sabah, said Kuwait is a state of institutions where the judiciary has full authority and independence and renewed its confidence in the people’s awareness of the dangers of the tensions and escalations in the region as well as in their ability to manifest a spirit of responsibility and national unity to maintain Kuwait’s security and stability, Kuna said.
Source: Gulf News