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Kuwait Recalls Ambassador From Iran Over Saudi Rift

Saudi Arabia's allies continue to move against Iran, with Kuwait withdrawing its ambassador and delivering a protest over this weekend's attack on the Saudi embassy in Tehran.

It's the latest development in a regional Sunni-Shiite feud that NPR's Greg Myre says could complicate "every major issue from the Iranian nuclear deal to the Syrian civil war to global oil markets."

Kuwait didn't cut diplomatic ties entirely, as other Saudi allies have done. But the country did summon Iran's ambassador Tuesday to give him a note of protest over the failure to protect Saudi Arabia's diplomatic missions, calling the breach "a flagrant violation of international conventions and norms."

From Cairo, NPR's Leila Fadel reports:

"Kuwait's state news agency reports that the Gulf nation stands with Saudi Arabia after its embassy was ransacked in the Iranian capital and Saudi took the extraordinary decision to end diplomatic ties.

"The diplomatic crisis follows the Saudi execution of a top Shia cleric last week that was internationally condemned.

"Already, both Bahrain and Sudan have cut off ties. ... Sudan gave Iranian diplomats two weeks to get out. The United Arab Emirates also downgraded ties as Egypt's foreign minister expressed solidarity on a visit to Riyadh. ... He said the kingdom's 'security ... is an integral part of Egypt's security.'

"Egypt has not had diplomatic relations with Iran for more than three decades."

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Bill Chappell is a writer and editor on the News Desk in the heart of NPR's newsroom in Washington, D.C.
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