Iranian-Azerbaijani relations remain strained. The strained atmosphere leads in political, diplomatic, social, cultural relations between two states.
And a new really serious cause comes to make the strained relations more complicated. As haarretz.com magazine writesIsraeli defense officials confirmed on Sunday $1.6 billion in deals to sell drones as well as anti-aircraft and missile defense systems to Azerbaijan, bringing sophisticated Israeli technology to the doorstep of archenemy Iran.
The sales by state-run Israel Aerospace Industries come at a delicate time.
“Israelhas been laboring hard to form diplomatic alliances in a region that seems to be growing increasingly hostile toIsrael.
Its most pressing concern is Iran’s nuclear program, and Israeli leaders have hinted broadly that they would be prepared to attack Iranian nuclear facilities if they see no other way to keep Tehran from building bombs”, the source writes.UShigh-level official announced thatIrandid not prepare nuclear bomb now and it means that there is some time for diplomacy yet. At the same time an American official announced thatIsraelmay attackIranwithout warning theUSA. This means theUSAmay be free of the responsibility for the attack ofIran. Not everyone in Israeli government are happy with the possibility of attackingIran.
Chairman of the Knesset commission on civilian defense issues Zaif Bilski announced that if a war is started no one of the four Israelis will be able to reach the shelter and the anti-air attack systems do not have the ability to stand against the attacks.
At the same time remind thatIrandenies all accusations byIsraeland the West and announces that the nuclear enrichment is just for the civilian needs.
“It was not clear whether the arms deal withAzerbaijanwas connected to any potential Israeli plans to strikeIran. The Israeli defense officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not at liberty to discuss defense deals”, haaretz.com continues.
Israel‘s ties withAzerbaijanhave grown as its once-strong strategic relationship with another Iranian neighbor,Turkey, has deteriorated, most sharply overIsrael‘s killing of nine Turks aboard a ship that sought to breachIsrael‘s blockade of the Gaza Strip in 2010.
For Israeli intelligence, there is also a possible added benefit fromAzerbaijan: Its significant cross-border contacts and trade withIran‘s large ethnic Azerbaijani community.
Earlier this month,Iran‘s foreign ministry accusedAzerbaijanof allowing the Israeli spy agency Mossad to operate on its territory and providing a corridor for “terrorists” to kill members of Iranian nuclear scientists.
Note that thenAzerbaijandismissed the Iranian claims as “slanderous lies.”
A year earlier,Azerbaijan convicted 15 people in connection with an alleged Iranian-linked spy network accused of passing intelligence on Western and Israeli activities.
There is another opinion according which Israeli weapon will be used not againstIranbut againstArmenia. “The timing of the deal is misleading: regardless of the ongoing ratcheting up of tension betweenIsraelandIran, and increasing attention toIsrael’s intelligence activities inAzerbaijan, these weapons are destined to be used not againstIran, but against Armenia, “which controls the breakaway Azerbaijani territory of Nagorno Karabakh” (Such formulation is complete fake, as Armenian has supervision over its liberated lands- Times.am). Though it’s tempting to think otherwise”, eurasianet.org writes referring to the AP. According to the publication on eurasianet.org “Azerbaijan has nothing to gain by attackingIran, or even by cooperating with an Israeli attack except in the most discreet possible way”.
The source also reminds about the Israeli drone which was shot down in Arstakh.
As we all remember Armenian portal razm.info presented recently an article which told about the Israeli weapon sold to Azerbaijan (the article is available on Armenian and Russian). The weapon was spoiled and useless. So we do not know exactly which kind of weapon is bought by Azerbaijan this time.