Kuwait to naturalize 4,000 stateless people

Updated 21 March 2013
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Kuwait to naturalize 4,000 stateless people

KUWAIT CITY: Kuwait’s Parliament passed a bill yesterday to grant citizenship to up to 4,000 foreigners in 2013 in a move to resolve the problem of stateless people in the oil-rich state.
Forty-three members, including all Cabinet ministers present, voted in favor of the law while only two MPs abstained without any opposition. To take effect, the law also must be signed by the emir.
Last month, Parliament passed the first reading of the law which stipulated naturalizing at least 4,000 stateless people, but under government pressure the bill was changed to a “maximum of 4,000 foreigners.”
MPs urged the government to use the legislation to start resolving the humanitarian problems of more than 106,000 stateless people, known locally as baboons.
“The majority of those to be granted nationality must be bidoons... We will hold the government to account if it commits any violations in this issue,” MP Khaled Al-Shulaimi said.
“Today, we have laid down a roadmap to resolve the crisis of bidoons... who are suffering and being deprived” of many of their rights, independent MP Khaled Al-Adwah told the house after the vote.
State Minister for Cabinet Affairs Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah Al-Sabah said the government hopes the law will be “the foundation for resolving the bidoon problem.”
Stateless people were born and raised in Kuwait and claim they have the right to Kuwaiti citizenship, but the government says only 34,000 of them qualify for consideration, while the rest hold other nationalities.

The emirate alleges that bidoons or their ancestors destroyed their original passports to claim the right to citizenship in order to gain access to state-provided services and benefits.
Bidoons have been deprived of basic rights to force them to reveal their original nationalities.
Stateless people have been protesting for the past two years to demand citizenship and basic rights.


Iran faces ‘strongest sanctions in history’

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Updated 22 May 2018
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Iran faces ‘strongest sanctions in history’

  • US Secretary of State laid out Trump administration’s strategy for constraining Iran’s nuclear program
  • US threatens "strongest sanctions in history" if Iranian government does not change course

WASHINGTON: The US told Iran on Monday to drop its nuclear ambitions and pull out of the Syrian civil war in a list of demands that marked a new hard-line against Tehran and prompted an Iranian official to warn that Washington seeks regime change.

Weeks after US President Donald Trump pulled out of an international nuclear deal with Iran, his administration threatened to impose “the strongest sanctions in history,” setting Washington and Tehran on a deeper course of confrontation.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo demanded sweeping changes that would force Iran effectively to reverse years of its foreign policies.

“The sting of sanctions will only grow more painful if the regime does not change course from the unacceptable and unproductive path it has chosen for itself and the people of Iran,” Pompeo said in his first major speech since becoming secretary of state.

“These will be the strongest sanctions in history by the time we are done,” he added.

Pompeo took aim at Iran’s policy of expanding its influence in the Middle East through support for proxy armed groups in countries such as Syria, Lebanon and Yemen.

He warned that the US would “crush” Iranian operatives and allies abroad and told Tehran to pull out forces under its command from the Syrian civil war where they back President Bashar Assad.

Iran is unlikely to accede to the US demands. Tension between the two countries has grown notably since Trump this month withdrew from the 2015 nuclear agreement aimed at preventing Tehran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

Pompeo warned that if Iran fully resumed its nuclear program Washington would be ready to respond and said the administration would hold companies doing prohibited business in Iran to account.

“Our demands on Iran are not unreasonable: Give up your program,” Pompeo said, “Should they choose to go back, should they begin to enrich, we are fully prepared to respond to that as well,” he said, declining to elaborate.

Pompeo said if Iran made major changes, the US was prepared to ease sanctions, re-establish full diplomatic and commercial relations and support the country’s re-integration into the international economic system.

The speech did not explicitly call for regime change but Pompeo repeatedly urged the Iranian people not to put up with their leaders, specifically naming President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

“At the end of the day the Iranian people will get to make a choice about their leadership. If they make the decision quickly, that would be wonderful, if they choose not to do so we will stay hard at this until we achieve the outcomes I set forward,” said Pompeo.