Turkey: We Did Not Agree to Aid Iran's Hezbollah Arms Shipments

Denial comes in wake of controversy sparked after Defense Minister Ehud Barak claimed Turkey's new top spy was a 'friend of Iran.'

Turkey did not sign a pact with Iran ensuring the continued transferal of weapons to Hezbollah, the Turkish daily Hürriyet quoted an official in the country's foreign ministry late Friday.

Hezbollah youth holding Katyushas near Nasrallah portrait

The denial comes in the wake of a report by Italian daily Corriere della Sera earlier this week, which claimed that senior Iranian and Turkey security officials have recently met to sign a deal which would allegedly see Turkey aiding Iran in transferring its arms shipments to Hezbollah.

“These claims are baseless and should not be taken seriously,” the senior Turkish Foreign Ministry official said.

Earlier this month, Turkish authorities expressed their displeasure at comments made by Defense Minister Ehud Barak concerning Ankara's new head of intelligence and his alleged ties with Iran.

Barak made the comments at a closed-door briefing to party activists on July 25, reflecting the climate of mistrust between Israel and its once close ally.

The defense minister described Hakan Fidan, who was appointed head of Turkey's National Intelligence Organisation (MIT) in May, as a "friend of Iran."

In part of his speech broadcast by Israeli Army Radio, Barak expressed concern that secrets shared with Turkey "could become open to Iran over the next several months".

In response, the Turkish Foreign Ministry summoned Israeli envoy Gaby Levy to protest over Barak's remarks.

"We expressed our discomfort and dissatisfaction with Barak's statement," a Turkish foreign ministry official, who declined to be named, told Reuters.