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Israel strengthens its presence in Azerbaijan – military expert

04:12, 30.03.2012 Region: World News, Armenia, Karabakh, Azerbaijan, Iran Theme: Politics, Analytics

YEREVAN. - It is difficult to judge whether reports on alleged Israeli airbases in the territory of Azerbaijan are true, says Armenian military expert.

“It is unclear whether talks, Azerbaijan’s approval or discussions stand behind the rumors,” Artsrun Hovhannisyan told Armenian News-NEWS.am, commenting on recent publication of influential Foreign Policy magazine.

The article published in the magazine says Israel has recently been granted access to airbases in Azerbaijan. An anonymous senior diplomat says the airbases may host Israeli aircrafts after attacking Iran.

The report was followed by a wave of refutations by the Azerbaijani top officials who claim Azerbaijan’s territory will be never used to attack Iran, Georgia, Russia and Turkey.

Speaking about refutation, Hovhannisyan recalled the recent weapon deal signed by Azerbaijan and Israel.

“The Azerbaijani side ‘tried’ to explain the deal by the fact that it will be used against Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh, not Iran,” he said.

However, the expert stressed that according to preliminary information, the major part of purchased weapons is anti-ship missile systems. 

“They can be hardly used against Armenia,” he emphasized, adding that it will be used not only against Iran but also Russia with its powerful Caspian fleet. “Airbases are just a detail. Israel is obviously strengthening its presence in Azerbaijan and it may be nothing but a threat to Iran.”

Armenia News - NEWS.am

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