Iran, Turkey have ‘very, very good’ ties on intel: Envoy
Cansu Çamlıbel ISTANBUL/ Hürriyet
High level official meetings show the strength of relations, Bigdeli says. Hürriyet photo, Levent KULU
The intelligence cooperation between Turkey and Iran is in a “very, very good state,” according to the Iranian Ambassador Alireza Bigdeli.
Speaking to the daily Hürriyet, Bigdeli said the intelligence cooperation between the two countries were at a level that should be between strong neighbors and brothers, which bothered Western powers, as well as Israeli authorities.
“Why do they not like it when Turkish and Iranian intelligence agencies cooperate? They expect Turkey to have good cooperation with MOSSAD or CIA. There is that side to it. Turkish and Iranian agencies always have cooperation, and they should have so, and they will have so. It is normal between neighbors to have that, but they treat it with doubt,” Bigdeli said.
When asked about the recent claims of Turkey handing over Israeli spies to Iranian authorities, Bigdeli did not go into details, and just said, “I’ve been here for only seven months. The claims in that story go back a year. I have no information regarding them.”
Bigdeli, however, said he had met with Hakan Fidan when he was doing his rounds before taking on the post.
The Iranian envoy further told Hürriyet Iranian and Turkish agencies cooperated during the rescue of the Turkish pilots who had been kidnapped in Lebanon, and the Iranian citizens who were retrieved from Syria.
Bigdeli said Iranian-Turkish relations contained many levels and dimensions, and to assume a rift on Syria’s policies would cause a rift between the countries would be wrong.
“Unlike what is assumed by others, the relations between the two countries are so deep that an issue like Syria cannot have that great of an impact. If it had been two other countries that experienced the last few months, they could have gone through serious crises. But the warmth between us has never gone away,” Bigdeli said.
The Iranian envoy cited recent visits by high-level officials to the countries, including a meeting between the presidents while they were both in New York.
“All this can show nothing but warmth. Why do newspapers write about the closeness of intelligence agencies between two countries? Well, that’s why,” Bigdeli said.