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Tehran Protests Kuwait Move To Expel Iranian Diplomats Over Alleged Terror Cell

Iran threatened to reciprocate after Kuwait on July 20 expelled most of its diplomats, saying Kuwait's accusations that Tehran was behind a terror cell in the country were "baseless."

"Iran's strong objection has been communicated to Kuwait's charge d'affaires. It was reiterated that Iran reserves the right to a reciprocal measure," foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi said on Telegram.

Kuwait gave the Iranian ambassador and 14 out of 19 other diplomats 45 days to leave the country after a court decision found 21 people guilty of belonging to a cell allegedly formed and trained by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Tehran has denied any involvement.

The expulsions were an unusual move for Kuwait, which has worked at keeping good relations with all countries in the region.

"It is regrettable that Kuwaiti officials, in this sensitive situation in the region, instead of making an effort to reduce useless tensions...have targeted the Islamic republic with baseless accusations," an Iranian foreign ministry official told the Kuwaiti charge d'affaires during their meeting, according to Ghasemi.

Kuwait greatly reduced its diplomatic presence in Tehran last year after its ally Saudi Arabia completely severed relations with Iran.

Copyright (c) 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.

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