Turkey Cozies Up to Hizbullah with Iran
Israel National News (Link) - Chana Ya�ar (August 12, 2010)
Turkey has offered to join Iran in sending weapons to Hizbullah in Lebanon, with help from Syria, according to a report published in an Italian newspaper.
The daily Corriere Della Sera quoted sources Wednesday evening who said that Turkey will �send sophisticated weapons, rockets and guns to Syria that will end up in Lebanon.�
The sources went on to say that the Iranian Revolutionary Guards would �facilitate the transition, ensure safety, watch loads on the routes, and provide support to the border.� According to the report, Iran intends to build a network that will supply the Gaza-based Hamas terrorist organization with weapons as well, similar to the weapons network that operates in the Sudan.
The newspaper also reported that Turkish and Iranian intelligence heads Hakan Fidan and Hossein Taeb allegedly met to discuss logistics and relations between the two nations.
Nearly two weeks ago, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak expressed concern that Turkey might pass on some of Jerusalem�s intelligence information to the Islamic Republic.
Barak, whose remarks were recorded and broadcast by IDF Radio, told a private meeting of his Labor Party associates that �Turkey is a friendly country and a strategic ally. But the nomination in recent weeks of a new chief of the Turkish secret services, who is a supporter of Iran, worries us.�
The appointment, Barak told his colleagues, might lead to �the Iranians obtaining access to classified information... There are quite a few [Israeli] secrets in their hands. The thought that they may now be open to Iran is disturbing,� he admitted.
Turkish Under-Secretary Halit Cevik summoned Israeli Ambassador Gabi Levy to a meeting in Ankara to express his outrage over Barak�s comments.
Fidan, 42, was appointed as head of MIT, Turkey�s National Intelligence Organization, on May 27. He had previously served as Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs to the prime minister, and represented the country at the United Nations� International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
The IAEA�s inspectors have been attempting to identify Iranian nuclear capabilities, as the agency�s director worked to convince the country to end its nuclear development program. As a member of the IAEA, Fidan was heavily involved in negotiating with Iran over its uranium enrichment activities.
Ankara sealed a deal on May 17 with Iran to export some of its uranium for enrichment to Turkey in exchange for nuclear fuel. Turkey also voted against a June 9 U.N. Security Council decision to impose increased sanctions against Iran that were intended to further pressure the Islamic Republic into abandoning its uranium enrichment program.