AFP: Kuwait's interior minister urged Iran in remarks published on Saturday not to provide a safe haven for "terrorists" but said there was no proof of claims that Tehran has sleeper cells in his country.
RIYADH (AFP) — Kuwait's interior minister urged Iran in remarks published on Saturday not to provide a safe haven for "terrorists" but said there was no proof of claims that Tehran has sleeper cells in his country.
"Iran should not serve as a haven for, or bankroller of, terror," Sheikh Jaber Khaled al-Sabah was quoted as telling the Saudi daily Okaz.
It said Sheikh Jaber called on Iran "not to harbour terrorists from Al-Qaeda and not to serve as a launchpad or safe passage for terrorists."
Despite the implicit accusation that Iran harbours terror suspects, Sheikh Jaber dismissed claims by two Kuwaiti MPs that sleeper cells attached to Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards were operating in the oil-rich Gulf state.
"I wish the two MPs had shown the evidence they have. Intelligence (services) are present everywhere" but it is up to a country's security services to deal with them, Sheikh Jaber said.
"So far we did not uncover any such" Iran-linked cells, he said.
Kuwait's defence minister on Monday dismissed as "mere rumours" a claim that spy rings from neighbouring countries were in the emirate.
He did not specifically name Iran, but was apparently referring to a claim by an Iranian defector that the Revolutionary Guards run sleeper cells in the six Arab monarchies of the Gulf.
Iran's Defence Minister Mustafa Mohammad Najjar has denied the allegation.
In the remarks reported by Okaz, the Kuwaiti interior minister did not rule out that Al-Qaeda may have sleeper cells in Kuwait.
"We do not deny this, and we do not deny that we are always on the alert, as our security forces have shown… I do not rule out the presence of (Al-Qaeda-linked) groups whether in Kuwait or in the Gulf," he said.
Kuwaiti security forces fought deadly gunbattles with a group linked to Al-Qaeda in January 2005.