Iran warns Turkey: Don't renew ties with Israel

Iranian official says that Turkey restoring ties with Israel goes against the rights of the Palestinian people.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 12/22/2015, 3:16 AM

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Reuters

Iran on Monday chimed in on the reports that Israel and Turkey are set to normalize ties, asking the Turkish government to rethink the idea.

Speaking to reporters in Tehran and quoted by the semiofficial Fars news agency, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hossein Jaber Ansari warned Turkey about attempts to resume relations with Israel, claiming that doing so would be against the rights of Palestinian Arabs.

"The Muslim governments should adopt policies which meet their and the Islamic Ummah's interests as well as the rights of the Palestinian nation," he said.

"The Turkish government shouldn’t pursue a different path (in relations) with the Quds occupying regime under such conditions that its relations with the neighboring governments have gone under certain developments," Jaber Ansari added, according to Fars.

Last week it was reported that Israel and Turkey, in secret talks in Switzerland, had reached "understandings" to normalize ties that were downgraded following the 2010 Mavi Marmara incident.

According to those reported understandings, the deal would have Israel pay compensation to the families of the radical activists on board the flotilla who attacked IDF soldiers with lethal force, and would also launch talks on natural gas exports to Turkey. Turkey, in return, will not allow terrorist activity on its soil, and will not allow Hamas leader Salah Al-Arouri to enter the country.

On Sunday, the deputy chairman of Turkey’s ruling AKP party, said that no deal had yet been signed to normalize relations with Israel, though he stressed that Turkey viewed the Israeli people as “friends” and its criticism was solely directed at the Israeli government and its “extreme and illegitimate” policies.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu made clear on Monday that Israel will not remove the blockade on Gaza as part of a rapprochement deal with Turkey.

"We still don't have understandings and we aren't there for a simple reason: there are topics that interest us, such as Hamas activity, but that's not enough for us, we want to ensure that there won't be any terrorist activity from Turkish territory," he stressed.

"They (Turkey) argued against the blockade on Gaza and of course we don't intend to change our naval blockade policy," said Netanyahu. "Even though Israel is the country that transfers the (goods for the) existence and rehabilitation of the Gaza Strip, we cannot give up on our security."