Azerbaijan denies report it will aid Israel in airstrike on Iran

Amid warming ties with Israel, Azerbaijan pushes back on claims it has agreed to allow the Jewish state to use its airfields for airstrike on Iran.

By World Israel New Staff

Azerbaijan pushed back on reports that the country’s warming ties with Israel would lead to military cooperation and the use of Azeri airfields to refuel Israel Air Force warplanes en route to Iran.

In a report published by The Jerusalem Post Friday, Azerbaijan’s newly appointed ambassador to Israel, Mukhtar Mammadov, denied recent claims – including a report by Ha’aretz – that his country has agreed to let the Israeli military use an airfield for a potential airstrike against Iran.

A majority-Muslim nation on Iran’s northwestern border, Azerbaijan recently agreed to open an embassy in Israel, and appointed its first ambassador to the Jewish state.

The enhanced ties between Israel and Azerbaijan fueled rumors the two countries are collaborating for a possible airstrike on Iranian nuclear facilities, or that Israel’s Mossad has set up operations in Azerbaijan to monitor Iran, with the local government’s support.

Ha’aretz reported earlier this month that Azerbaijan has even prepared an airfield for Israeli warplanes to refuel during an operation targeting Iran’s nuclear sites.

Israel has, according to Ha’aretz, traded weapons for Azerbaijan’s ongoing conflict with Armenia in exchange for access to the Iranian border.

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Azerbaijan currently supplies Israel with some two-thirds of its oil.

Mammadov, who arrived in Israel last week and is expected to present his diplomatic credentials to President Isaac Herzog soon, denied the claims, emphasizing that his country will remain neutral.

“Azerbaijan, from the start, has declared that it will not interfere in the internal matters of other countries and will not allow its territory to be used against other countries,” he said. “This is because we expect other countries not to interfere in our internal matters.”