Iran sends Zarif to Kuwait after emir death

Iran sends Zarif to Kuwait after emir death
Iran sends Zarif to Kuwait after the emir death



Iran’s sending of its foreign minister to Kuwaits in the wake of the death of the Gulf country’s leader is a message to Kuwait City that it should stay neutral in issues relating to Iraq, the US, the Gulf, and Israel.


Iran sent Foreign Minister Javad Zarif to Kuwaits on Sunday after Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah, who had been in power since 2006, died September 29.


Kuwait recalls the scars of the 1990 Iraqi invasion by Saddam Hussein and has attempted since then to steer clear of Gulf rivalries and Iran issues.


In the 1980s, the country was the center of the tanker war and also bomb plots by Iranian-backed men such as Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, who was assassinated by the US in January.


Zarif’s visit comes amid rumors of countries in the region being encouraged by the US to normalize relations with Israel.


Oman, Sudan, and other countries have been on the list.


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Kuwait has rejected normalization. The emir’s death and the trip by Zarif are important symbols of how important Tehran views its small, southwestern neighbor. Tehran knows that Kuwait hosts massive US army bases. Washington is under pressure in Iraq from Iranian-backed militias. Dozens of rocket attacks have targeted the US in Iraq, causing it to draw down troops to 3,000 from 5,200. The US handed over eight facilities to the Iraqis and is in the process of consolidating troops to northern Iraq. Kuwait hosts the Bradley Fighting Vehicles that America recently deployed to Syria.  There are rumors that the drone that killed IRGC head Qasem Soleimani flew from Kuwait’s Ali Salem base; Kuwait has denied that. However, this means Iran is watching Kuwait and the American bases. It knows this is a key in the supplied link to the US in the region. Convoys that supply the US, apparently driving from Kuwait, are often targeted in Iraq on the way to Baghdad and other areas in the country.
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