Report: US cancelled drone delivery to Turkey due to Iran ties

Turkish daily reports deal nixed due to ties between Turkey's MIT intelligence agency and Iran's intelligence service.

US predator drone_311 (photo credit: Reuters)
US predator drone_311
(photo credit: Reuters)
The US Congress cancelled the delivery of 10 Predator drones to Turkey because of Turkish intelligence chief Hakan Fidan's disclosure of Iranian agents working for Mossad to the Iranian intelligence service, Turkish daily Taraf reported on Monday.
The alleged betrayal of Mossad agents by Turkey early last year was revealed in a Washington Post article last week.
The US was scheduled to deliver the unmanned aerial vehicles to Turkey in June 2012, but the US Congress scrapped the deal due to close relations between Turkey's MIT intelligence agency and Iran's intelligence service, according to Taraf.
According to the Turkish daily Hurriyet, Turkey's intelligence agencies believe that the Washington Post report, which was penned by influential foreign affairs commentator David Ignatius, is part and parcel of a deliberate Israeli media campaign aimed at discrediting Hakan Fidan.
“We see this media campaign as an attack and there might be an Israeli effort behind it,” a Turkish intelligence source told Hurriyet.“Especially after the Washington Post story on Oct. 17 and the follow-ups with Jerusalem bylines.”
Earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal also ran an article about Fidan, who reportedly has been the subject of American dissatisfaction over his purported role in allowing arms to flow to jihadist rebels in Syria.
Turkish intelligence sources told Hurriyet that they believe it is Israel's intent to smear Fidan through the press in order to discredit his boss, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in the eyes of Washington. Erdogan has taken a critical approach toward Israel, as relations between the two governments soured after the Israeli takeover of the Mavi Marmara Gaza protest ship in 2010.
Ankara also believes that Israel leaked the Iran spy network story in order to manufacture a crisis so that the government in Jerusalem could avoid paying compensation to the families of the nine Turkish nationals killed aboard the Mavi Marmara by Israeli commando units.