Kuwaiti Diplomat Beaten Outside Embassy in Tehran

A Kuwaiti diplomat who was beaten as he left his country's embassy in Tehran will be flown home for treatment Wednesday, and the Kuwaiti government is awaiting results of an Iranian investigation into the attack, a Kuwaiti official said.

Mohammed al-Zobi, the second secretary at the Kuwaiti Embassy in the Iranian capital, was attacked on Tuesday by "six people who beat him severely," the official said. Al-Zobi's condition was not serious, he said, declining to elaborate.

The emir, Sheik Sabah Al Ahmed Al Sabah, ordered the repatriation of the diplomat on a state plane.

The official said he had no information on who was behind the attack, described by Kuwait's Foreign Ministry as "blatant and unjustified." The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the press.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini said Wednesday that Tehran "regrets the incident" and said the attack was under investigation.

Kuwait's Foreign Ministry summoned the Iranian ambassador on Tuesday to protest the beating that "does not, in any way, reflect the nature of bilateral relations," the official Kuwait News Agency reported. It said the Iranian ambassador, Ali Jannati, expressed regret and promised an investigation.

Asked if he had any information on who the attackers were and what their motivation might have been, the official said: "This is what we want the Iranians to tell us. Did they have any official connections? Were they rebels, mobs?"

Kuwait's relations with the Islamic Republic deteriorated during the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war because of Kuwait's support for Baghdad. But Tehran's neutral stand during the 1991 Gulf War that ended Iraq's brief occupation of this small oil-rich state brought the two nations closer.

The Kuwaiti government calls for a peaceful solution to the nuclear standoff between Tehran and the West. It has recently said it would not allow the United States military, which has bases in Kuwait, to use its territory to attack Iran.