Iran condemned Kuwait on Tuesday for sentencing two Iranians, a Kuwaiti and a stateless man to life in prison for spying for Iran and demanded they be released.
On Monday, Kuwait's appeals court reduced a death sentence on the two Iranians and the Kuwaiti to life and upheld the stateless man's sentence.
It also confirmed the acquittal of a man and a woman, both Iranians, while a Syrian who was sentenced to life by the lower court too was acquitted.
"From the Islamic Republic's point of view, all these charges are false and the sentences handed down are unacceptable," foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told a press conference.
"We hope that the Kuwaiti government will review its position and that these people will soon be freed," he said, adding that Iran had protested against Kuwait's refusal to allow a consular visit.
The two Iranians and the Kuwaiti worked for the Kuwaiti army at the time of their arrest in May 2010.
The defendants were accused of spying for Iran and of passing information on the Kuwaiti and U.S. military in the Gulf emirate to the Islamic republic's Revolutionary Guards, an accusation Iran has denied.
The defendants denied the charges and insisted they had been tortured to extract confessions.
The case strained relations between Kuwait and Iran, prompting a tit-for-tat expulsion of diplomats.
Ambassadors later returned to both capitals following a visit by Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi to Kuwait City.
The ruling is not final as the case will now go to Kuwait's Supreme Court, where a final verdict will be issued.
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