Netanyahu virtually ignore this grave breach by Turkey in which Turkey betrayed 12 important agents of Israel to Iran to be tortured and killed, and continued to reach out to Turkey for areas to cooperate in. Then in the spring he apologized to Turkey. Truly disgusting. Ted Belman
by Eli Lake Oct 21, 2013
Turkey may have ratted out Israeli spies to Iran in 2012, but that didn’t stop Netanyahu from mending fences with Turkey’s Erdogan. Eli Lake on the surprising outreach.
Last week, the Washington Post’s David Ignatius revealed that in early 2012, Turkey gave sensitive information about Israel’s spy operations to Iran–specifically, the names of up to ten Iranians who had been meeting with Israeli intelligence officers in Turkey.
To many people in the intelligence community, the news was seen as a grave betrayal. “The fact those ten spies were burned by the Turks by purposely informing the Iranians is not only a despicable act, it is an act that brings the Turkish intelligence organization to a position where I assume no one will ever trust it again,” said Danny Yatom, a former chief of Israel’s intelligence service, the Mossad, in an interview.
A retired senior CIA officer who spoke to The Daily Beast compared the incident to the betrayal of the Cambridge Five, a network of Soviet moles that provided highly sensitive intelligence to Moscow at the dawn of the Cold War.
All of which makes it especially surprising to some that Israel appeared to move on from the incident so quickly. This is evidenced by the fact that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu authorized a diplomatic outreach to Turkey to restore ties even after he learned about the alleged security breach. (While U.S. officials confirm the details revealed by Ignatius, the Turkish government has denied them.)
Israel believes Iran is determined to build a nuclear weapon, and it has justified its intelligence activities inside the country as crucial to delaying and sabotaging its enemy’s nuclear program. In January 2012, before the Turks informed Iran about the Israeli spy network, a magnetic bomb killed Mostafa Ahmadi Rohsan, an Iranian official in charge of procurement for the Natanz uranium enrichment facility. It was believed to have been carried out by the Mossad. And one U.S. official said Turkey’s prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was furious about the assassination.
Yatom, who did not confirm whether the Mossad had anything to do with Rohsan’s death, said the agency has traditionally informed its Turkish counterparts about meetings with its spies on Turkish soil. He said if Turkey were to give Iran any details about these meetings, it would compromise Israel’s intelligence operations against Iran.
The Mossad will never trust their Turkish counterparts again.
There is some evidence to support that view. In March 2012, Time reported that Israel had curtailed much of its covert activities in Iran. The Tehran Times in April of 2012 reported that Iran’s intelligence ministry had announced the arrest of 15 agents allegedly working with Mossad .