Kuwait says stocks up on food in case of war in Gulf

Date: 05-09-07

KUWAIT, May 9 (Reuters) - Iran's neighbour Kuwait said on Wednesday it had prepared emergency food stocks in case a war breaks out in the Gulf amid tension between Washington and Tehran over Tehran's nuclear programme.

Kuwait, which was a launch pad for the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, said last month it would take "precautionary measures" amid concern of prospects of war between Iran and the West.

State news agency KUNA quoted Trade and Industry Minister Falah al-Hajeri as saying Kuwait had secured necessary food stocks to supply the population in case of a war.

"The ministry has prepared a strategic stock of food to be used in case of a war in the Gulf region as a result of the Iranian nuclear file," he said after the government briefed parliament about its preparations.

The United States, which says Iran is trying to build a nuclear bomb, has said it wants a diplomatic solution to the standoff but has not ruled out military action if that failed.

Iran says its nuclear programme is only for power generation.

Kuwait, a staunch U.S. ally, is worried about any strike on the Bushehr nuclear power station that Russia is building for Iran. The Iranian port city lies less than 300 km (185 miles) from Kuwait.

Kuwait has asked NATO to send experts to help assess its readiness to deal with any nuclear radiation.

"The Kuwaiti government is prepared for any event including terrorist acts," Mohammad al-Saqr, chairman of parliament's foreign affairs committee, told reporters. (Additional reporting by Mahmoud Harbi)


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