Manama: A Kuwaiti lawmaker has called for downgrading Iran’s diplomatic representation in the country.

“The current level of representation is highly exaggerated and unnecessary, especially after it was proven that Tehran had a role in smuggling weapons to its terrorist cells in Kuwait,” MP Saud Al Huraiji said. “The diplomatic representation should be at most like that of other countries with diplomatic missions in Kuwait,” he said, quoted by Kuwaiti daily Al Jareeda on Thursday.

The lawmaker said that the government should officially declare the Lebanese militia Hezbollah a terrorist group.

“The Public Prosecution has stated that the group was involved in antagonistic acts against all Kuwaitis, and this requires our country to declare Hezbollah a terrorist group,” he said. “Kuwait should also ask fellow Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and Arab states to make similar declarations. We have to make sure there is an absolute zero tolerance towards anyone implicated in the terrorist cell, regardless of their names or status,” he said.

Kuwaitis have long suffered from terrorist schemes and operations plotted by Iran since the 1980s, he added.

“We are still being targeted by treacherous, disloyal and coward elements operating from inside the country. Kuwaitis will never forget the terrorist acts and the government should not be soft with those who target the security of the nation,” he said.

On Tuesday, Kuwait’s public prosecution referred 24 defendants, including one Iranian national, for trial over espionage for Iran and Hezbollah and the illegal possession of weapons, ammunition and explosives.

The prosecution said that several defendants would be tried for joining Hezbollah, “a group that aims to spread principles that undermine the existing regime and take over the social and economic systems through the use of force.”

In 2013, Bahrain, wary of Hezbollah activities in the country, became the first Arab country to blacklist the Lebanese group as terrorist.

Bahrain said that its backing and training of radical groups against Bahrain was the main reason given for the decision.

The government was responding to calls by the parliament to take action against the group amid complaints by lawmakers about the role of the Lebanese militia in fomenting unrest in the country.

Foreign Minister Shaikh Khalid Bin Ahmad Al Khalifa said that Hezbollah secretary-general Hassan Nasrallah was a terrorist and that saving Lebanon from him was a religious and national duty.