Iran says ambassador to stay in Kuwait despite spat
TEHRAN, Iran (Kurdistan 24) - Although disappointed at Kuwait for discharging a number of Iranian diplomats, Iran said on Monday its ambassador would remain in the country.
Kuwait announced last week that 15 Iranian diplomats would have to leave within six weeks in response to the conviction of a "terror" cell with alleged links to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.
Kuwait's supreme court last week convicted 21 people of belonging to a cell trained and formed by the Revolutionary Guards -- an allegation which Iran said was "baseless".
"We did not expect this from Kuwait," foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi said, according to the Irna news agency.
"We have always maintained positive relations with Kuwait in the Gulf region. The action by the country was not nice... but we can still continue conversations and contacts," he added.
Ghasemi confirmed that Iran's ambassador would remain in Kuwait, a question which had remained unclear when the move was announced on Thursday.
Kuwait, which has a sizeable Shia majority, has had tense relations with Iran, although it has tried to act more as a mediator in regional disputes.
Kuwait greatly reduced its diplomatic presence in Tehran last year after its ally Saudi Arabia completely severed relations with Iran, although it kept a charge d'affaires and two officials.