RIYADH (AFP) – Gulf leaders meeting in Riyadh on Tuesday declined to comment on an alleged Iranian spy cell broken up in Kuwait but said the six-member group will face security threats as one.
Gulf Cooperation Council secretary general Abdulrahman al-Attiyah said after a one-day summit of six Gulf leaders that they were leaving the issue of the busted spy cell to Kuwait to handle “for the moment.
However, he said when asked about the case “the security of the Gulf region is a red line. The security of the Gulf cannot be divided.”
The heads of the six GCC members — Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — held talks on regional political issues in Riyadh. They discussed post-election Iraq, Iran’s perceived nuclear threat and the Palestinian-Israeli peace process among other issues, Attiyah said in a post-summit press conference.
He declined to detail the group’s views on arrests of suspected spies in Kuwait last month.
Kuwait confirmed that several suspects were being questioned in connection with a busted cell, but it fell short of confirming press reports that they were spying for Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.
At least seven people, including members of Kuwait’s army and police, were under arrest, according to the Kuwaiti daily Al-Qabas, which added that the security forces were hunting for other suspects.
In the wake of those arrests, Bahraini authorities said they had arrested a Bahrain national suspected of links to the Kuwait spy operation.
Asked if the GCC is concerned about a region-wide spy network from Iran, Attiyah said the group has a committee “at the level of interior ministers” following the issue.
“But our Kuwaiti friends want to handle it themselves for the moment,” he said.