Monday, November 5, 2012

Could an Israeli Attack on Iran be Launched From Azerbaijan?

Would Israeli Planes Strike Iran From Azerbaijani Territory?
In a post a few months ago, I noted that there have long been close ties between Israel and the former Soviet Republic of Azerbaijan, and that the Azeris had actually allowed Israel to establish secret airbases in the country.  There has long been tension between largely secular Azerbaijan and the Islamic government in Tehran, not least of which is because Iran has a significant Azeri minority of 16% itself, and the Iranians are worried that their Azeri population might have sympathies with Azerbaijan to the North, essentially a "fifth column" that could be used against the Islamic regime..

The Israeli-Azerbaijan relationship - tacit as it is - makes a lot of sense for both parties.  From the perspective of the Azeris, having the support of a powerful friend like Israel who provides it with weapons and support is excellent protection in a rough neighborhood.  For Israel, Azerbaijan shares a long border with Iran and is an ideal listening and intelligence gathering post.

There was now an article that just came out on the Global Post speculating to what extent the Azeris may allow the Israeli military to attack Iran from its' territory.  According to the article:
But the idea of serious cooperation with Israel places these criss-crossing tensions on another, far more serious level. Such a tacit alliance, if it indeed exists, poses a significant threat to Iran's clerical regime. Azerbaijan provides a valuable intelligence listening post for Israeli agents along the Islamic Republic's northern border.
Here is the full Global Post article on the Israel-Azerbaijan relationship.

Iran and Azerbaijan Share a Long Border

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