Skip to comments.Israel to sell $1.6 billion in arms to Iran's neighbor Azerbaijan
Posted on 02/26/2012 8:15:03 PM PST by sukhoi-30mki
Israel to sell $1.6 billion in arms to Iran's neighbor Azerbaijan
The sales come at a delicate time. Israel has been laboring hard to form diplomatic alliances in a region that seems to be growing increasingly hostile to the Jewish state.
JERUSALEM Israeli defense officials Sunday confirmed $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. Israel has been laboring hard to form diplomatic alliances in a region that seems to be growing increasingly hostile to the Jewish state.
Its most pressing concern is Iran's nuclear program, and Israeli leaders have hinted broadly they would be prepared to attack Iranian nuclear facilities if they see no other way to keep Iran from building bombs.
Iran denies Israeli and Western claims it seeks to develop atomic weapons, and says its disputed nuclear program is designed to produce energy and medical isotopes.
In Jerusalem, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Iran's nuclear program will take center stage in talks with U.S. and Canadian leaders. He is to meet with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Ottawa on Friday and with President Obama in Washington on March 5.
Speaking to the Israeli Cabinet on Sunday, Netanyahu said a U.N. nuclear agency's report last week buttressed Israel's warnings that Iran is trying to produce a nuclear bomb. The agency said Iran has rapidly ramped up production of higher-grade enriched uranium over the last few months.
It was not clear whether the arms deal with Azerbaijan was connected to any potential Israeli plans to strike Iran. Israel's ties with Azerbaijan, a Muslim country that became independent with the
(Excerpt) Read more at seattletimes.nwsource.com ...
Very interesting, thanks for the article. I wonder what Iran will think of that. Maybe Azerbaijan will allow Israel the use of it’s territory for an attack on Iran? The purchase of weapons from Israel is a gutsy move from someone who shares a border with Iran. Let’s hope our Israeli brothers gain more allies in the area, their going to need them.
Some Wiki excerpt’s about this fairly unknown country:
Azerbaijan has an ancient and historic cultural heritage. The country was among the birthplaces of mankind and is located at the heart of ancient civilizations. Furthermore the country is known to be among the most progressive and secular Islamic societies. Aside from having been the first Muslim country to have operas, theater plays, and a democratic republic, Azerbaijan today is among the Muslim countries where support for secularism and tolerance is the highest.The Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, the first democratic and secular republic in the Muslim world,was established in 1918, but was incorporated into the Soviet Union in 1920. Azerbaijan regained independence in 1991. Shortly thereafter, during the Nagorno-Karabakh War, neighboring Armenia occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, its surrounding territories and the enclaves of Karki, Yukhary Askipara, Barkhudarly and Sofulu. The Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, which emerged in Nagorno-Karabakh, continues to be not diplomatically recognized by any nation and the region is still considered a de jure part of Azerbaijan, despite being de facto independent since the end of the war.
The Constitution of Azerbaijan does not declare an official religion but the majority of people adhere to the Shia branch of Islam, although Muslim identity tends to be based more on culture and ethnicity rather than religion and Azerbaijan remains as one of the most liberal majority-Muslim nations. After gaining its independence, Azerbaijan has reached a high level of human development, economic development, standard of living, and literacy as well as a low rate of unemployment and intentional homicide compared to other Eastern European and CIS countries. On 1 January 2012, the country started a two-year term as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.
As of 2002, Azerbaijan had 95,000 active personnel in its armed forces. There are also 17,000 paramilitary troops. The armed forces have three branches: the Land Forces, the Air Forces and the Navy. Additionally the armed forces embrace several military sub-groups that can be involved in state defense when needed. These are the Internal Troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the State Border Service, which includes the Coast Guard as well. The Azerbaijan National Guard is a further paramilitary force. It operates as a semi-independent entity of the Special State Protection Service, an agency subordinate to the President.
Azerbaijan adheres to the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe and has signed all major international arms and weapons treaties. Azerbaijan closely cooperates with NATO in programs such as Partnership for Peace and Individual Partnership Action Plan. Azerbaijan has deployed 151 of its Peacekeeping Forces in Iraq and another 184 in Afghanistan.
The military expenditures of Azerbaijan for 2011 are set at $4,46 billion USD. Azerbaijani defense industry manufactures small arms, artillery systems, tanks, armors and noctovision devices, aviation bombs, pilotless vehicles, various military vehicles and military planes and helicopters.
“Israel signs $1.6 billion arms deal with Azerbaijan”
(February 26, 2012)
SNIPPET: “Deal includes the sale of drones as well as anti-aircraft and missile defense systems to Azerbaijan, which borders Iran.”
26 February 2012, 20:52
“Azerbaijan runs out of patience with the IRGC”
(February 23, 2012)
“Iran’s Clandestine Operations Threaten Azerbaijan”
by Ariel Cohen
February 23, 2012 at 5:00 pm
“Iran Cyber Army’ Hits Azerbaijan State TV Site”
(February 23, 2012)
“Azerbaijan arrests ‘Iran-linked’ attack plotters
Cell headed by Revolutionary Guards officer, Hezbollah operative planned to stage attacks on foreign citizens in Azerbaijan, already bought explosives, ammunition”
AFP and Dudi Cohen
Published: 02.21.12, 19:47 / Israel News
SNIPPET: “Police in Azerbaijan have arrested an unspecified number of people linked to Iran and to Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah suspected of planning attacks in the country, state television said on Tuesday.
State broadcaster AzTV, quoting the National Security Ministry, said police had detained people linked to Iranian intelligence services and Hezbollah who intended to stage attacks on foreign citizens in the country.
The report said the suspects had gathered intelligence on targets and bought explosives, guns and ammunition, but gave no further details.”
“Azerbaijan: Police arrest militants linked to Iran, Hezbollah”
Published: 02.21.12, 18:50 / Israel News
“Did Iran plot to kill Israelis in Azerbaijan?”
(February 21, 2012)
“Azerbaijan Thwarts Terror Attack Against Israeli Habad Emissaries”
(January 23, 2012)
Azerbaijan Thwarts Terror Attack Against Israel, Jewish Targets
HAARETZ.com ^ | Published 01:48 23.01.12Latest update 01:48 23.01.12 | By Eli Shvidler
Posted on January 24, 2012 12:43:11 AM PST by Cindy
“Azerbaijan thwarts terror attack against Israeli, Jewish targets
Security official in Baku links Iran to planned operation; three men detained.”
SNIPPET: “Three men were detained last week after planning to attack two Israelis employed by a Jewish school in Baku, the Azerbaijan Ministry of National Security has revealed. Meanwhile, an Azeri commentator considered close to the republic’s president has launched a scathing indictment of Iran.
The Azeri ministry said it had arrested a cell that planned to “kill public activists,” before it became apparent that the intended victims were two Israeli Chabad emissaries, a rabbi and a teacher employed by the “Chabad Or Avner” Jewish school in Baku. The ministry said that the three men, named as Rasim Aliyev, Ali Huseynov and Balaqardash Dadashov, received smuggled arms and equipment from Iranian agents.”
(Excerpt) Read more at haaretz.com ...
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