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Ron Ben-Yishai
'Spies' in Iran - apparently Kurds
Washington Post's report that Turkey disclosed to Iran names of individuals working with Mossad heightens Erdogan feud with National Kurdish Movement; the spies revealed – apparently Kurdish
The "spies" who were reportedly working for Israel on Iranian soil were apparently Iranian Kurds. Thursday morning, David Ignatius reported in the Washington Post that Turkey revealed to Iran a network of Israeli spies working in the Islamic Republic.

 

A source close to officials in the Obama administration claimed that Ankara revealed to intelligence sources in Iran the identity of up to 10 "local" spies, who have met in Turkey with their Mossad handler.

 

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The National Intelligence Organization (MIT) of Turkey and the Erdogan regime have a common interest to work against the national Kurdish movement, which operates in Syria and Turkey. Ankara and Tehran have been working together for many years to fight the movement on both ends of the border.

 

In the past it's been published that Israelis have tight diplomatic relationships with the Kurds in Iran, who fought against Sadam Hussein and who were trained by the IDF and Mossad operatives in Iraq and in Iran in the 70s, during the Shah's regime.

 

Senior Turkish officials were outraged by the American report, which they said was an attempt by foreign powers to hurt Turkey's status since they are not comfortable with its growing clout in the Mideast.

 

Common interest against National Kurdish Movement. Turkey's Erdogan (Photo: AP)
Common interest against National Kurdish Movement. Turkey's Erdogan
 

 

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu dismissed the report, which he said was meant to discredit Turkey. He said the claims against the head of the Turkish intelligence Hakan Fidan are "baseless" and stressed that Turkey is committed only to the Turkish government and parliament.

 

According to journalist David Ignatius, Israeli intelligence had apparently run part of its Iranian spy network through Turkey, which has relatively easy movement back and forth across its border with Iran.

 

Ignatius quoted knowledgeable sources as describing the Turkish action as a “significant” loss of intelligence and “an effort to slap the Israelis." An Israeli diplomat told Reuters in response to the report that since talks between Erdogan and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in March, "the only thing we had to show Americans is that Erdogan is not at all interested in reconciliation."

 

According to the report, Israel believes Turkish intelligence chief Fidan is behind the disclosure because of his friendly links with Tehran. Ignatius noted that the Mossad, after more than 50 years of cooperation with Turkey, never imagined the Turks would “shop” Israeli agents to a hostile power.

 

 

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