A large number of lawmakers strongly lashed out at Iran for provocative statements against Kuwait after the appeals court convicted an Iranian spy ring and urged the foreign ministry to respond. The appeals court on Monday sentenced four men – two Iranians, a Kuwaiti and a stateless – to life in prison after convicting them of spying for the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. The court also acquitted three others, including the only woman in the case. Iran’s foreign ministry yesterday strongly condemned the Kuwaiti ruling and categorically denied that there was any spy ring working for the Islamic republic.
Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said the charges against the men were false and the sentences unacceptable. “We hope that the Kuwaiti government will review its position and that these people will soon be freed,” he said, adding that Iran had protested against Kuwait’s refusal to allow a consular visit. The two Iranians and the Kuwaiti worked for the Kuwaiti army at the time of their arrest in May 2010.
MP Osama Al-Munawer described the Iranian behaviour as very rude. “They send their spies and rings to gather information and to stir trouble whenever they want and still get angry when their agents are arrested,” Munawer said in a statement. “What is more strange is the weak position of the Kuwaiti foreign ministry” which has issued a solitary statement saying that they will study the details of the ruling before they act. Munawer said that ministry’s behaviour is very weak because all diplomatic protocols stipulate expelling embassy diplomats when spies are discovered, let alone busting a whole network. The lawmaker called on the Kuwaiti foreign minister to take the necessary actions against Iran and to raise the issue at the Arab foreign ministers’ meeting on Saturday in order to take a position against Iranian terrorism.
MP Shaye Al-Shaye also criticized the foreign ministry for not swiftly responding to Iran’s provocative statements and sent a question on the subject to Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Sabah. He asked why the foreign ministry has not immediately responded to the Iranian flagrant interference in Kuwait’s internal affairs by the way of criticizing the Kuwaiti appeals court verdict. He also asked the minister about the foreign ministry’s efforts aimed at limiting continued Iranian interference in Kuwait’s internal affairs. MP Faisal Al-Mislem said the Iranian statements confirm Tehran’s aggressive intentions against Kuwait, while Falah Al-Sawwagh said that national security is a red line and “we will not accept any interference in our internal affairs”.
In another issue, the foreign ministry yesterday officially denied a report in a local newspaper that claimed that a lawmaker who is a member of an investigation parliamentary committee has made a statement undermining the ruling family in the presence of Kuwaiti ambassadors and diplomats. The foreign ministry insisted that no such remarks were issued in the presence of any foreign ministry official. A few days ago, the paper said that a member of the parliamentary committee probing alleged foreign money transfers by the former prime minister spoke against the ruling family during a meeting attended by a number of ambassadors. A number of MPs had strongly criticized the newspaper, accusing it of launching a propaganda campaign against opposition MPs. Also, MP Munawer yesterday submitted a proposal calling on the government to send weapons to the Free Syrian Army fighting against the regime of Bashar Al-Assad. He also proposed that fundraising campaigns in favour of the Syrian people should be launched under the government’s supervision.
Kuwait foreign ministry undersecretary, Khaled al-Jarallah, said:
“Unfortunately, this is an act of disrespect for Kuwaiti court rulings that we highly appreciate and respect,” quoted by Al-Rai newspaper..
Jarallah was responding to Tuesday remarks by Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman, Ramin Mehmanparast, in which he insisted the charges against the seven-member spy cell were false and rejected the ruling.
The ruling is not final as the case will now go to Kuwait’s supreme court, where a final verdict will be issued.
Source: kuwaittimes & Agencies