Iran–Kuwait relations

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Iranian-Kuwaiti relations
Map indicating locations of Iran and Kuwait


Diplomatic Mission
Embassy of Kuwait, Tehran Embassy of Iran, Kuwait
Ambassador Dr. Ali Reza Enayati[1] Ambassador Majdi adh-Dhafiri[2]

Kuwait has close and friendly relations with Iran. Kuwait describes its relations with Iran as "excellent and historical".[3][4]

Kuwait sided with Iraq in the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War.[5] According to a declassified 1987 CIA document, Kuwait and Iran were on a "collision course". The document attributes deteriorating relations between the two countries to an increase in Iranian attacks on Kuwaiti-bound ships, as well as Kuwaiti support during the Iran-Iraq war. The two countries have historically been opposed when oil pricing disputes arose amongst OPEC members, with Kuwait traditionally being a supporter of a more moderate posted price and Iran generally advocating for more significant price increases.[6]

Kuwait has opposed increasing Iranian influence in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. In 2017, Kuwait ordered the expulsion of several Iranian diplomats, including the Iranian ambassador, after 23 men were convicted of spying for Hezbullah.[7]

Despite these concerns, Kuwait's relations with Iran are relatively warm and it declined to follow Saudi Arabia's lead in severing diplomatic relations following the 2016 attack on the Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran.[5]

Kuwait is the only Gulf State that has maintained formal ties with Iran after US President Donald Trump announced withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal.[8] Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE voiced strong support for the withdrawal, which Kuwait did not join.[5]

Kuwait's plans for regional development, including the "Silk City project" that aims to develop the Kuwaiti Islands, includes developing mutually beneficial economic ties with Iran.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Kuwait's relations with Iran 'excellent, historic' Relations didn't weaken after the KSA-Iranian diplomatic ties were cut on January 2nd 2016". Kuwait News Agency.
  4. ^ "Kuwait says relations with Iran are 'excellent'". The National.
  5. ^ a b c d Albloshi, Hamad H. (2018-05-24). "Kuwait's careful balancing act with Iran, Saudi Arabia". Al-Monitor. Retrieved 2018-07-28.
  6. ^ "Kuwait-Iran: On a Collision Course". CIA FOIA ( Retrieved 2018-07-28.
  7. ^ "Iran says ambassador to remain in Kuwait despite row". Reuters. 2017-07-24. Retrieved 2018-07-28.
  8. ^, The Washington Times. "Kuwait continues Iran straddle after Trump decision". The Washington Times. Retrieved 2018-07-28.