As the showdown over Iranian nuclear ambitions intensifies, political analysts in Azerbaijan are urging the government to deepen the country’s ties with Israeli and Western security structures.
Officials in Baku have not commented on how Azerbaijan intends to respond to the rising global tension connected to the Iranian nuclear issue. But a series of arrests suggests President Ilham Aliyev’s administration is cracking down on sources of perceived Iranian influence in Azerbaijan.
Long an anomaly in the Muslim world, Israeli-Azerbaijani ties run the gamut from telecommunications investments to sales of military technology and equipment and oil. On February 11, those ties acquired a new public dimension with a Times of London article that claimed that Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency, has a substantial presence in Azerbaijan to gather intelligence about Iran.
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Shahin Abbasov is a freelance journalist based in Baku.