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Monday, May 10, 2010

Kuwait bans reporting on alleged Iranian spy ring

Last week, I reported on the discovery of an Iranian spy ring in Kuwait that was seeking information on American and Kuwaiti targets. In a later post, I reported that Hezbullah was connected to the spy ring. Now, Kuwait has imposed a gag order on all reporting regarding the spy ring. That has caused quite a firestorm in Kuwait.
Authorities however remained silent on the nature of the investigation and if the network is actually linked to the Revolutionary Guards as more MPs blasted the government's position. Members of the Islamic Reform and Development Bloc called on the government to explicitly reveal the nature of charges that have been made to the spy network and to announce names of the suspects.

Addressing a press conference, the four members of the group warned against attempts to cover up internal or external sides in this case. MP Faisal Al-Mislem said that people are concerned after the reports that a spy network of Iran's Revolutionary Guards have been busted, adding the government's handling of the case has been wrong and lacked transparency. Mislem said that what adds to people's concerns is the fact that the spy cell is allegedly linked to Iran, which had repeatedly threatened to attack Kuwait and other Gulf countries if attacked by the United States.

National Assembly Speaker Jassem Al-Khorafi commended delaying the submission of a request to hold a special debate on the spy network, saying he believes that the best way to deal with the issue is to summon the interior minister to the interior and defense committee and discuss the situation. Khorafi also called on MPs to stop issuing statements on the issue and let the authorities perform their duty.

MP Hassan Jowhar blamed the government for causing confusion in the country by failing to issue clear statements to clarify the situation and stop unnecessary interpretations. He said that government's hesitation has opened the door for speculation and "mixing of cards", encouraged the spread of rumours and stoking of sectarian tensions in the country. Jowhar appealed to the Kuwaiti people to beware from those with political agendas and those who attempt to undermine national unity.

MP Mubarak Al-Waalan yesterday warned the government and the interior minister against allowing any interference that may impact the ongoing investigations on the Iranian spy network, saying that any interference necessarily means an attempt to protect those who violate Kuwait's security and sovereignty.


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