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Iran, Kuwait to return ambassadors after row

After the chilly reception in Kuwait, Iran's foreign minister confirms ambassadors will return to posts.

May 18, 2011 4:19 by

Iran and Kuwait have agreed to exchange ambassadors again following a diplomatic row over what Kuwait said was an Iranian spy ring, Tehran’s foreign minister said on Wednesday.

“Thank God it has been decided that both ambassadors will return quickly to their posts,” Ali Akbar Salehi told a news conference at the Kuwaiti parliament.

There was no immediate official confirmation from Kuwait.

In March, a Kuwaiti court sentenced two Iranians and a Kuwaiti man to death for being part of an alleged Iranian espionage ring in a case that strained relations between Kuwait and the Islamic Republic.

Kuwaiti media said in May 2010 a number of Kuwaitis and foreigners suspected of spying for Iran had been detained. Media reports said they were accused of gathering information on Kuwaiti and U.S. military sites for Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.

After the March court decision, Kuwait asked three Iranian diplomats to leave the Gulf Arab state, a move to which Iran responded in the same way and expelled three Kuwaiti diplomats.

“We also spoke about this issue and we deny this issue completely,” Salehi said, after meeting with Kuwait’s ruler and the Gulf Arab state’s parliament speaker.

Salehi has also visited Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates in recent weeks as Iran seeks to ease tensions with its Arab neighbours across the Gulf. (Reporting by Eman Goma; editing by Mark Heinrich)

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