Lieberman in Iran talks in Baku
AVIGDOR LIEBERMAN has described the reports that Israel had been allowed to use air-bases in Azerbaijan for a possible strike on Iran as “science fiction”. This was the first response to the reports by a senior Israeli official. It was issued as the foreign minister was visiting Baku this week.
Mr Lieberman was attending a ceremony commemorating 20 years of Israel-azerbaijan relations and held meetings with President Ilham Aliyev and government ministries. Israeli diplomats confirmed that “Iran was high on the agenda in the meetings”.
Israel’s intensifying security ties with Azerbaijan, which supplies around 40 per cent of Israel’s oil, are no secret.
In recent months, the intelligence services of both countries have foiled a number of attempts by Iranian terrorcells to carry out attacks against Israeli and Jewish targets in Azerbaijan.
The Baku government is concerned that Iran is trying to undermine its predominantly secular regime, while it has an ongoing dispute with Tehran over exploitation of natural resources beneath the Caspian Sea.
Two months ago, a 1bn arms deal was announced between Israel and Azerbaijan.