(photo credit: REUTERS)
An immense arms cache that had been seized in Kuwait was smuggled into the country from Iran, two Kuwaiti newspapers reported on Sunday.
The Kuwaiti Interior Ministry said on Thursday that authorities had found ammunition, explosives, weapons and grenades in holes dug under houses in an area near the Iraqi border. Three men who owned the houses were detained.
Al-Anba, one of the country’s most circulated newspapers, reported that the weapons had been smuggled across the border from Iraq for use by members of an Iranian-backed Hezbollah cell.
But the dailies, al-Rai and al-Qabas – citing unnamed sources – made known on Sunday that the weapons had been brought into Kuwait by sea from Iran. They quoted the sources as saying that the new information had come from confessions made by the detainees during interrogation.
Al-Qabas said that the number of suspects held on foot of the investigation has now risen to 13.
“The suspects have disclosed that there is a direct Iranian line in supplying weapons to Kuwait by sea,” al-Rai reported.
The Interior Ministry declined to comment.
Another newspaper, al-Jarida, said that the Iranian Revolutionary Guards had trained members of the cell on the use of weapons and explosives a year ago, along with citizens from Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.
The training reportedly look place at an unnamed Red Sea island.
It said the trainees had traveled to the island through a port controlled by Houthis, an Iranian-linked group that controls much of northern Yemen.
Meanwhile, Iran and its allies must do all in their power to curb American influence in the Middle East, a top adviser to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Sunday.
Ali Akbar Velayati said that the “resistance axis” of Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories exists “not only to fight against the dominance of foreigners in their countries,” but also to curtail US hegemony in the region.
Velayati said that Western powers are conspiring to divide Syria after “failing in its military aggression against Afghanistan and Iraq,” according to state broadcaster Press TV. “Syria is the golden ring of resistance against the Zionists.”
“Saudi Arabia provides the takfiris [apostates] with their needed dollars to purchase weapons,” Velayati continued, according to the country’s Fars News Agency.
Despite the nuclear deal recently struck with the major world powers, Iranian officials have continued to make statements that appear to give the impression that the regime is still intent on assuming a hostile posture toward the West.
Abbas Araqchi, one of several deputy foreign ministers, told a session dealing with the nuclear deal at Iran’s Parliament on Sunday that the country’s missile tests are not related to the accord, state news agency IRNA reported.
Iran’s military chief Maj.- Gen. Hassan Firouzabadi echoed the sentiment on Sunday, saying that its missile activities would face no obstacle and would continue according to schedule.
Behrouz Kamalvandi, the spokesman for Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization praised the head of the IAEA on Saturday for keeping the deal between the agency and Iran secret despite pressures on it to reveal its contents, IRNA reported.
Critics of the deal, including members of US Congress, have called for the release of these details.
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab-African Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian suggested in a meeting with Syria’s Information Minister Omran al-Zoabi in Tehran on Sunday that his country will never stop supporting the Syrian regime.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran will continue its current strategy in Syria and will not change its strategy of fight against extremism and support for Syria,” he said, according to the Fars news agency.
“Supporting neighbors, friends and allies is prioritized in the Islamic Republic of Iran’s foreign policy,” he added. The Syrian minister said that “Syria is facing a Zionist conspiracy and unfortunately, certain regional states are accomplices to this conspiracy.”
Senior commanders of the Iranian navy announced separately on Saturday that a fleet of warships will head to Russian waters, Fars reported. The announcement follows joint naval war games with Russia conducted last week.
Reuters contributed to this report.