For several years, Azerbaijan has played an important role in helping Israel, by providing a base of operations for clandestine missions involving intelligence gathering on Iranian nuclear progress. Azerbaijan is a secular Muslim nation that has had friendly ties to Jews and Israel. It is known as the safest place for Jews in the Muslim world. 40% of Israel’s oil is said to be provided by Azerbaijan via the Baku–Tbilisi–Ceyhancom (BTC) pipeline. Israel supplies state of the art weaponry to Azerbaijan in its off again on again war with Armenian separatists.
In November I reported on the possibility that Israel already has the ability with drone technology to use Azerbaijan to destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities at Arak. With Bibi Netanyahu’s state visit to Azerbaijan today, one has to wonder what the need is for a face to face with President Ilham Aliyev in Baku unless it is to further both covert and overt defense ties in relation to Iran and Azerbaijan’s on again and off again war with Armenia, an Iranian ally.
As Donald Trump prepares to take over the White House on Jan. 20th, the Iranian Nuclear Deal is likely to be scrapped. Azerbaijan will become ground zero for any Israeli response to Iranian aggression.
Over the past few years there has been a lot of chatter on Israel-Azerbaijan relations and what it could mean in terms of a possible attack strategy against Iran. Azerbaijan shares a border with Iran and also strangely as it sounds happens to be an ally of Israel, despite being a Muslim state. 40% of Israel’s oil is said to be provided by Azerbaijan via the Baku–Tbilisi–Ceyhancom (BTC) pipeline. Israel supplies state of the art weaponry to Azerbaijan in its off again on again war with Armenian separatists.
Over the last few years rumors have spread that Israel has a secret staging ground for a potential attack on Iran. Although never confirmed by Israel or Azerbaijan, information about a secret airbase in Southern Azerbaijan was leaked to the media in 2012 via Foreign Policy:
In 2009, the deputy chief of mission of the U.S. embassy in Baku, Donald Lu, sent a cable to the State Department’s headquarters in Foggy Bottom titled “Azerbaijan’s discreet symbiosis with Israel.” The memo, later released by WikiLeaks, quotes Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev as describing his country’s relationship with the Jewish state as an iceberg: “nine-tenths of it is below the surface.” Why does it matter? Because Azerbaijan is strategically located on Iran’s northern border and, according to several high-level sources I’ve spoken with inside the U.S. government, Obama administration officials now believe that the “submerged” aspect of the Israeli-Azerbaijani alliance — the security cooperation between the two countries — is heightening the risks of an Israeli strike on Iran. . . . “The Israelis have bought an airfield,” a senior administration official told me in early February, “and the airfield is called Azerbaijan.”
The republicans quickly blamed the Obama administration for the leak, which was never confirmed or denied by White House.
Since the Iran deal this sort of chatter has quieted down, but the Israel-Azerbaijan relationship keeps growing stronger giving Israel a back door to not only attack Iran, but essentially use its advanced drone technology to learn how close Iran is to building a bomb or launch it. The assumption in international circles is that Israel was preparing an attack from Azerbaijan using planes. Yet, with Israel being in possession of some of the most advanced drones in the world, any attack could take place on Israel’s predetermined timeline and in stealth mode.
The map below shows that Azerbaijan to Arak, Iran where its heavy water plant is situated is within the 1,000 km range of the IAI Harop which is designed to auto detonate when it hits a target. Israel could conceivably use a few of them to destroy the nuclear facilities at Arak.
So whether or not Donald Trump is able to roll back Iran’s nuclear program, Israel may have used the passage of the Iran deal to quietly prepare its own solution to the ayatollah’s