Israel takes aim at Iran-Turkey ties

TEHRAN, Jun. 22 (MNA) – Over the last few weeks, Israel has launched an all-out media campaign against Iran that included bizarre claims of Iranian threats against ordinary tourists in neighboring Turkey.

Israeli media and officials first issued warnings of imminent alleged threats from Iran to Israeli tourists in Turkey and then claimed that “several” attacks were foiled as a result of Turkish-Israeli security cooperation. “The operational efforts with the Turkish security forces have borne fruit,” Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett claimed. “In recent days, in a joint Israeli-Turkish effort, we thwarted a number of attacks and a number of terrorists were arrested on Turkish soil.”

Neither Bennett nor other Israeli officials have offered any kind of evidence to support their claims.
The string of warnings began on Friday when several Israeli officials alleged that there were “concrete” threats that Iran was allegedly trying to target Israelis in Istanbul over the weekend, and urged all Israeli citizens to leave Turkey immediately.

Iran has officially responded to Israeli hyperboles. Iran believes that Israel is openly spreading lies unworthy of a response. Nour News, a news outlet close to Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, said Iran is determined to avenge the assassination of Colonel Sayad Khodaei but it’ll not target innocent people. 

“Given the past experiences, the Zionist regime [Israel] is well aware of the certainty of Iran’s response to this regime’s mischief and terrorist moves such as the martyrdom of Sayad Khodaei,” Nour News said, adding, “The officials of this regime also know that the Islamic Republic of Iran will not punish innocent individuals when taking vengeance on the Zionist government’s crimes.”

The outlet said the leaders of Israel know that only the perpetrators and those who issued orders will be punished. This is why Israeli officials seek to mobilize the public with unfounded claims to increase the cost of Iran’s revenge, according to Nour News. 

The Israeli claims are intended to achieve another goal. According to Nour News, Israeli officials want to pitch Turkey and Iran against each other through unfounded claims. This is while the Iranian and Turkish foreign ministers have recently spoken over the phone and discussed ways to boost bilateral ties. 

This month, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu spoke over the phone twice in less than a week. In the first call, they discussed the latest developments in bilateral relations, according to the Iranian foreign ministry. Amir-Abdollahian stressed the need to keep up the consultations between the two countries and promote cooperation, especially in bilateral trade and consular issues. The top Turkish diplomat invited his Iranian opposite number to visit Ankara for talks on issues of mutual interest in the near future.

In the second call, Cavusoglu once again extended an invitation to Amir-Abdollahian to visit Turkey and expressed hope that continued negotiations between the officials of the two countries will help boost bilateral ties and increase their cooperation. Amir-Abdollahian reaffirmed Tehran’s determination to boost ties with Turkey more than ever before. The top Iranian diplomat also expressed hope that the two sides will hold more consultations over the matter.

The Israeli claims come against a backdrop of broader tensions between Iran and Israel. Israeli officials have ramped up their threats against Iran and, recently, even boasted about taking the battle into Iran. Bennett and other Israeli officials are now talking of the so-called Octopus Doctrine, a new strategy allegedly aimed at dealing with Iran directly instead of countering its allies in the West Asia region.

“The past year has been a year of changing course in Israel’s strategy vis-à-vis Iran,” Bennett said on June 7 at a meeting of the parliamentary defense and foreign affairs committee, according to the New York Times. “We have shifted into a higher gear. We are acting at all times and places, and we will continue to do so.”

Iran has said it will respond to Israeli provocative measures. Amir-Abdollahian has recently said Israel must stop its provocative and hostile behavior.

In late May, IRGC chief Major General Hossein Salami vowed revenge for Sayyad Khodaei. He blamed the assassination of Khodaei on Israel, underlining that Iran will avenge his killing.

First published in Tehran Times

News Code 188280


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