Kuwait sentences 3 to death in Iran spy case

A Kuwaiti criminal court has sentenced three people to death for being part of an alleged Iranian spy ring in the Gulf Arab state, Dubai-based Al Arabiya television said on Tuesday.

The station did not give further details on a case that has strained relations between Kuwait and Tehran.

Kuwait, which banned media coverage of the case, has said only that several people were detained in an unspecified security probe.

Kuwaiti media said in May 2010 authorities had detained a number of people - Kuwaitis and foreigners - suspected of spying for Iran. The independent al-Qabas daily said they were accused of gathering information on Kuwaiti and US military sites for Iran's Revolutionary Guard.

Tehran denied the allegations last year. The two sides have improved ties which soured during the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war because of Kuwait's financial backing for Baghdad's war effort.

Opec-member Kuwait hosts Camp Arifjan, a vast US logistics base in the desert south of the capital which serves as a staging ground for US forces deploying in Iraq.

The United States has myriad air and naval installations in Gulf Arab states, some of which are little more than 200 km from Iran's coast. The US Central Command keeps its forward headquarters in Qatar and Bahrain hosts the US Navy's Fifth Fleet.

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