December 18, 2011 / 9:01 AM / 8 years ago

Iran releases two Kuwaitis, says were not spies

TEHRAN, Dec 18 (Reuters) - Iran has released two Kuwaitis held for a month, clearing them of spying, the semi-official Mehr news agency reported on Sunday.

The arrests took place amid tense relations between Shi’ite Muslim Iran and its Sunni Arab neighbours following unrest in Bahrain by majority Shi’ites, which Manama had blamed on Tehran.

The release of the men came after discussions between the foreign ministers of both countries, Kuwaiti media reported.

Mehr quoted Iran’s ambassador to Kuwait, Ruhollah Qahremani, as saying the men had illegally worked as journalists in Iran while travelling on tourist visas, but speculation they were spies had been wrong.

In a sign Iran is seeking to soothe relations with the Gulf Arab states, Intelligence Minister Heydar Moslehi met Saudi Crown Prince Nayef last week - the first official contact since the United States accused the Islamic republic of backing a plot to kill the Saudi ambassador to Washington. (Reporting by Ramin Mostafavi; Writing by Robin Pomeroy; Editing by Sophie Hares)

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