Iranian and Turkish officials have vigorously denied claims by the British Daily Telegraph that Iran recently donated $25 million to Turkey’s ruling party ahead of next year’s general election.
“This incident has never happened and those allegations in the news story have no evidence,” Ömer Çelik, vice president of the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, said Tuesday in a written statement.
Çelik also threatened to sue the daily unless it corrected the story.
Iran agreed to donate $25 million to the AKP in a move that “will increase fears that Prime Minister [Recep] Tayyip Erdoğan is preparing to abandon the country’s secular constitution,” Daily Telegraph reported on its website Tuesday.
“The paper’s intention is to harm the friendship and good, neighborhood relations between Turkey and Iran,” The Iranian Embassy to Ankara said Wednesday in a written denial of the allegations.