One of Turkey’s largest-ever corruption investigations is underway. A public bank CEO, an Iranian businessman and the sons of the freshly resigned interior and economy ministers are among the 24 suspects arrested so far, pending trial. The Iranian businessman allegedly circumvented sanctions against Iran and sent millions of dollars to the country via Halkbank by bribing the CEO as well as the ministers through their sons.
In a series of daily speeches after the operation began, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan blasted the probe and the investigators. He branded the probe a “dirty operation” and the policemen in charge a “gang.” He further said that a “trap” had been set up for Turkey, warning that they would “break the hands that set up the trap.”
Erdogan’s comments marked the onset of actual interventions in the probe. The chiefs of the Istanbul police’s financial crimes and organized crime departments, who handled the investigation, were removed from office in a snap. In a second wave, all department chiefs at the Istanbul police and some 100 others across Turkey were dismissed.
Turkey is Islamist and is spiraling toward becoming an outlaw state itself. In ten years, people will be asking how Turkey was ever allowed to remain a member of Turkey. One of the manifestations of this is continuing flirtations with the world’s foremost sponsor of Jihadist terrorism: Iran.
For evidence, see the report below from Iranian state-controlled media:
Turkish premier voices support for Iran nuclear positionTurkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has voiced his country’s unwavering support for Iran’s nuclear energy program in a meeting with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
“The government and nation of Turkey has always clearly supported the nuclear positions of the Islamic republic of Iran, and will continue to firmly follow the same policy in the future,” Erdogan said during the meeting in Tehran on Thursday.
For his part, Ahmadinejad praised Turkey for its “clear and frank” stance on the issue, saying Tehran and Ankara have historically propped up each other on global matters.
“Iran and Turkey have stood by each other on most of the international scenes and have always independently and seriously confronted the imperialism of Westerners and arrogant powers,” the Iranian president said.
“The arrogant powers never want countries like Iran and Turkey to progress and become powers on the global stage. Thus, we have to be vigilant in the face of their plots,” Ahmadinejad added.
During a Wednesday meeting with Iran’s Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani, Erdogan expressed his country’s readiness to improve ties with Tehran in all fields, particularly in economic and trade sectors.
No one should be allowed to harm the friendly ties between Iran and Turkey, he said.
The Turkish premier arrived in Iran’s capital of Tehran on Wednesday, heading a high-ranking politico-economic delegation on an official two-day visit for talks with senior Iranian officials.
The US, Israel and some of their allies have accused Tehran of pursuing military objectives in its nuclear energy program.
The US and the EU have used this pretext to impose sanctions against Iran, while Tel Aviv has issued threats of a military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities. Washington has repeatedly threatened Iran with “all options” on the table.
The Islamic Republic has strongly refuted Western allegations regarding its nuclear energy program, arguing that as a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it is entitled to develop and acquire nuclear technology for peaceful objectives.
Sky News is the UK is reporting that a special unit of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps al Quds Brigade has been deployed to Turkey with the intent of targeting Jewish, Israeli and Western targets for terrorist attacks.
The name of the special unit is “Unit 400.”
It would certainly not be the first time that Jihadists have used Turkey as a battleground for terrorist attacks on Western targets. And because Turkey has a large Islamist community, is essentially ruled by an Islamist party and has become decidedly anti-Israel since the Islamists came to power, a terrorist force like Unit 400 can find clandestine support and blend in to the landscape almost effortlessly.
Note also that Unit 400 has been named as plotting terrorist attacks in European nations and also in the USA. The US plot involved cooperation with Mexican drug cartels.
According to the report, the Iranian regime wants to use the Unit 400 attacks to send a signal to the West that Iran is highly capable of waging irregular warfare in the West should Iran be attacked over its nuclear program.
Unit 400 is a serious threat. These are highly-trained, professional operatives, not young Jihadis who have been duped into going Islamikaze by an Imam in some hell-hole mosque in a bad neighborhood.
A security pact signed in 2008 between Turkey and Iran should call into question Turkey’s membership in NATO.
Given that most of NATO’s members have some level of sanctions imposed on Iran and given that Iran has attacked US and NATO forces indirectly through proxies in Iraq and Afghanistan, there is simply no excuse for a NATO member having a security agreement with the world’s foremost sponsor of Jihadist terrorism.
This should not be tolerated. Turkey must be forced to choose between NATO and Iran.
It is by no means certain which side Turkey is on. After all, Turkey refused to allow the US Army’s 4th Mechanized Infantry Division to travel through its territory during Operation Iraqi Freedom, greatly complicating US strategy and probably allowing the insurgency to flourish faster and more than it should have in the wake of the US overthrow of Saddam Hussein…
Security agreement between Iran and Turkey
WorldTribune.com is one of the best sources for information on the Iranian threat on the web. The folks over there cover this topic regularly–and it is a topic that the so-called mainstream media seems to relish ignoring.
World Tribune’s latest report indicates that the Iranians will soon conduct air combat maneuver exercises with a neighboring nation, though no one is saying who that neighbor might be.
We can speculate some about who it might be though because Iran doesn’t have all that many neighbors. There are a few possibilities, limited by geography:
We seriously doubt Iraq would be holding exercises with the Iranian Air Force right now. For one thing, the Iraqi Air Force has next to no combat aircraft and they are currently organizing primarily with the advice and assistance of US Air Force personnel. We’re not saying that the Iraqi regime wouldn’t hold joint exercises with Iran in the future, but we doubt that they could or would hold air combat exercises with Iran now.
This is almost certainly not the answer. The Kuwaitis feel threatened by Iran and their air force has close ties to the US. Still, there are plenty of Islamist Kuwaitis who hate America and cooperating with Iran is not entirely out of the question. But, officially, the Kuwaitis are not yet at a place where they would likely hold joint exercises with Iran.
This might be the least likely neighbor to hold exercises with Iran. The Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps is said to be active in supporting Shia unrest and rioting in Bahrain, which is ruled by a Sunni regime. The Shia-Sunni divide alone would not be enough to dismiss the possibility of cooperation, but in the case of Bahrain, that divide clearly involves meddling and hostility from the Iranians, who, for a variety of reasons, would like to see the ruling regime in Bahrain fall. One reason is that Bahrain is very close to the US and hosts the headquarters for the US Navy’s 5th Fleet.
• United Arab Emirates
Now, we could be getting warmer. The UAE have been playing a double game when it comes to Iran for years, if not centuries. Dubai has long been considered a primary smuggling point into and out of Iran and that has manifested itself in recent years with lax security surrounding the illicit import of prohibited items into Iran–items that could potentially be used as components in various weapon systems. All the while, UAE officials profess to being vigilant, but the reports of smuggling are too numerous and persistent for it to be happening without someone in the bureaucracy or halls of power being involved. At the same time, the UAE is scared to death of Iran’s nuclear program and their reaction has been to take on the role of battered spouse, attempting to warm up to Tehran. So, it would not surprise us if the UAE were to conduct exercises with Iran. Still, they’re not the most likely suspect.
Qatar might be one of our more likely suspects. They have previously conducted some non-combat naval exercises with Iran and, like the UAE, they have been playing a double game when it comes to Iran for some time. On the con side, Qatar is the site of US Central Command facilities and such close relations with the US military would seem to preclude their conducting air combat exercises with Iran. It would certainly be disturbing if it did end up being Qatar. We doubt it’s Qatar.
Oman has always been wary of Iran and friendly with the West. They even let Delta Force rehearse and stage out of their airfields before the ill-fated hostage rescue attempt in Iran in 1980. We highly doubt that Oman is the neighbor in question.
A likely suspect, highly likely in fact. Turkmenistan, Iran’s neighbor to the north and northeast has a small air force that flies MiG-29s, Su-25s and a few other aircraft. Turkmenistan also obtains arms from Iran, in addition to Russia and China, Iran’s two main foreign arms suppliers.
Not a chance. The Afghans have no fixed wing combat aircraft. Moreover, exercises with the Iranians would be pretty outrageous at this point given the large US military presence in Afghanistan and the fact that Iran supports the Taliban.
If the neighbor that Iran ended up holding air combat exercises with ended up being Pakistan, it would be a near-worst case scenario. Close military relations between these two nations is one of the last things the world needs to see. Luckily, there is no indication that the neighbor in question is Pakistan. Given Saudi public hostility toward Iran and the fact that the Saudis bankroll a lot of what goes on in Pakistan, it is unlikely that Pakistan would hold air combat exercises with Iran. On the other hand, if there are two more treacherous, two-faced nations on earth than Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, we don’t know which ones those would be. Under the theory that anything is possible, we won’t rule out that the neighbor is Pakistan, but we doubt it–and hope that it is not.
• Saudi Arabia
Very similar to Pakistan, except that the Saudis are extremely worried about Iran on a lot of levels, so we doubt they’d hold air combat exercises with Iran under any circumstances. At some point, if the Saudis see that the West is not heading off Iran’s nuclear program, don’t be surprised if the Saudis start to warm up to the Iranians in an attempt to bribe them to keep them from causing trouble in the kingdom.
Not beyond the realm of possibility, though relations between Iran and Azerbaijan are best described as “mixed.” The two countries have cordial relations, but Azerbaijan has been publicly supportive of sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program. Meanwhile, there are reports that Iran supports opposition parties in Azerbaijan. If the undisclosed neighbor does end up being Azerbaijan, which has a fairly modern and large air force by regional standards, it could signal a distinct warming of relations, something we would not want to see.
Armenia has a small air force made up of just a handful of ground attack aircraft. Their relations with Iran are fairly warm and it is certainly possible that they would hold air exercises with Iran. Such a development would in fact possibly be worrying for the West because currently Russia provides Armenia with air defense. This means that air exercises between Armenia and Iran could in fact cloak air exercises involving Russian and Iranian air forces. That would be disturbing to be sure.
It’s certainly not Turkey, but given the trajectory of politics in Turkey, don’t be surprised to see something along these lines in the next decade or so.
Read more at World Tribune:
Iran’s foreign ministry says it has informed Ankara about concerns that Turkey could accept an offer to host some radar defenses under NATO’s plan for a missile shield over Europe.
Iran says it has serious doubts about the shield’s purpose and suspects it’s aimed at supporting Israel.
The U.S. has asked NATO-member Turkey to host some of the radar defenses and to approve the proposal for a Europe-wide defense network. Turkey has hesitated, saying it doesn’t want the system explicitly to target its neighbor, Iran.
Given that Tehran has claimed for years that its missile program is a “space” program and that its nuclear program is for “peaceful” energy purposes, one cannot help but wonder why Iran has such strident objections to a defensive anti-missile system…