Source: Press TV
The US daily Washington Post claims Turkish government in 2012 disclosed to Iranian intelligence authorities the identities of “up to 10 Iranians” working for Israeli spy agency Mossad.
“Knowledgeable sources describe the Turkish action as a ‘significant’ loss of intelligence and an effort to slap the Israelis,” wrote regular Washington Post columnist David Ignatius in a Wednesday article, describing the move by the administration of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan as part of the “bitter, multi-dimensional spy wars.”
According to the article, the Israeli rage over the “deliberate compromise of its [Iran-based] agents” by Ankara may explain why Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “became so entrenched in his refusal to apologize to Erdogan about the May 2010 Gaza flotilla incident.”
During the confrontation in international waters in the Mediterranean Sea, Israeli military commandos boarded a Turkish convoy of ships carrying humanitarian supplies for Palestinians in the Israeli-blockaded Gaza Strip. Nine Turks were killed by the Israeli forces in the incident.
Netanyahu, the report added, finally apologized to Erdogan by phone in March after US President Barack Obama negotiated a compromise plan.
Despite the apology, the daily said, senior Israeli officials believe that the severe strain in Tel Aviv-Ankara ties persists.
According to the report, although American officials considered the exposure of the Mossad network as “an unfortunate intelligence loss,” they did not complain directly to Turkish officials.
“Instead, Turkish-American relations continued warming last year to the point that Erdogan was among Obama’s key confidants. This practice of separating intelligence issues from broader policymaking is said to be a long-standing US approach.”
American officials, the article further added, were never sure whether the Turkish disclosure was done in retaliation for the 2010 flotilla incident or was part of a broader deterioration in Turkish-Israeli ties.
The Washington Post report goes on to emphasize that US officials assessed the incident “as a problem of misplaced trust, rather than bad tradecraft,” rationalizing that “Mossad, after more than 50 years of cooperation with Turkey, never imagined the Turks would “shop” Israeli agents to a hostile power, in the words of one source.”
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