Kuwait withdraws ambassador from Iran

05 January 2016

Foreign Ministry cites safety of diplomats as reason for action

Kuwait has announced it is withdrawing its ambassador to Iran following an attack by Iranian protestors on the Saudi embassy in Tehran.

Kuwait is the fifth country to announce this measure, following decisions by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Sudan to cut all diplomatic ties and the UAE’s announcement that it will “downgrade” its diplomatic presence in Iran.

The official Kuwait News Agency (Kuna) cited a source from the Foreign Ministry saying that the attack on the Saudi embassy in Tehran “constitutes a flagrant breach of international conventions and violation of Iran’s international commitment over security and safety of diplomatic missions on its lands”.

The Kuwait statement differs from those from its GCC allies Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain in that it did not mention Iran’s geopolitical influence in the Arab world.

The attack on the Saudi embassy in Tehran was a response by demonstrators to the 1 January execution of prominent Saudi Shia cleric Nimr al-Nimr – a vocal proponent of rights for the kingdom’s minority Shia population.

So far, Oman and Qatar are the only members of the six-country GCC to leave their diplomatic relations with Iran unchanged.

Oman has historically had a stronger relationship with Tehran than other GCC members, playing an important role in the successful international negotiations over Iran’s nuclear programme.


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