A massive arms cache seized by security forces in Kuwait was smuggled into the gulf state by Iran, and was destined for a Hezbollah "sleeper cell," Kuwaiti media reported Sunday.
On Thursday, Kuwait's Interior Ministry announced police had seized ammunition, explosives, weapons and grenades buried under several homes near the border with Iraq, and arrested three men who owned the buildings in question, according to Reuters.
No word was given as to where or to whom the weapons were destined, but several Kuwaiti papers have revealed they were smuggled into the country by Iran.
The Al-Jarida daily cited intelligence sources as saying that the Hezbollah cell's members had received weapons and explosives training a year in advance by Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corp, and that similar cells had been trained and inserted into neighboring Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.
Reporting on the raid Thursday, the Al-Anba newpaper claimed the weapons had been transported into Kuwait via southern Iraq – which is dominated by Iranian-backed Shia militias – for the purpose of establishing a Hezbollah terrorist cell in Sunni-ruled Kuwait.
It said the trainees had traveled to the island through a port controlled by Yemeni Houthis, an Iranian-linked group which controls much of northern Yemen.
But on Sunday, the al-Rai and al-Qabas dailies cited anonymous Kuwaiti officials, who said the suspects detained in the raid had revealed under interrogation that the weapons had been smuggled into Kuwait directly from Iran by sea.
According to Al-Qabas, an additional 10 suspects have been arrested since the initial raid. Al-Rai reported that "the suspects have disclosed that there is a direct Iranian line in supplying weapons to Kuwait by sea."
Sunni Arab gulf states have repeatedly accused neighboring Shia Iran of stoking unrest by encouraging and supporting uprisings by their own Shia Muslim populations.
Back in June, Kuwait was rocked by a suicide bomb at a major Shia mosque which killed 27 people, in an attack that was later claimed by ISIS.
The recent arrests come as the gulf states warn Iran will use international sanctions relief provided by the recent deal with world powers to accelerate its aggressive foreign police throughout the Middle East.