Gulf security not affected by Iranian spies: Saudi

RIYADH (AFP)— Saudi Interior Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz late on Wednesday rejected claims by a Kuwaiti member of parliament that a suspected Iranian spy cell held in the emirate had compromised Gulf security.

“The case of Kuwait’s dismantling of a spy network working for Iran’s Revolutionary Guards is being discussed by Gulf security services,” the official Saudi Press Agency quoted Prince Nayef as saying on the sidelines of a meeting of Gulf interior ministers in the Saudi capital Riyadh.

“We absolutely contradict those reports” that Gulf security has been infiltrated by Iran, he said.

Kuwaiti MP Mohammad Hayef, an outspoken Sunni Islamist opponent of Shiite Iran, charged on Tuesday that a suspected Iranian spy cell uncovered in the oil-rich emirate operated agents in other Gulf states.

“Investigations have indicated that the network is active and present in most other Gulf states,” he said.

Kuwaiti Interior Minister Sheikh Jaber Khaled al-Sabah called on his Gulf counterparts to review their security cooperation in the light of the case.

“The security agreement (between the six member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council) is in urgent need of amendment in order to cope with the emerging events,” Sheikh Jaber said.

Kuwaiti press reports have said that 11 suspects are now in custody in connection with the alleged spy ring.

The reports said those detained were suspected of carrying out surveillance of both Kuwaiti and US military bases in the emirate on behalf of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards.

Kuwait is the main rear-base for US troops in Iraq.

Iran has denied any link to the alleged cell in Kuwait.