Watch: The Israel-Azerbaijan Alliance: Iran, Arms & Oil

This is a follow-up video to the previous interview with political researcher Ararat Kostanian, who addressed the bizarre alliance between Israel and Azerbaijan. In this video, Kevork Almassian elaborates on the main reasons for the Israeli support of Azerbaijan against Armenia relying on leaked documents by Wikileaks.

Arms and Iran

A document leaked via Wikileaks which dates back to 2009 revealed that Azerbaijan’s relations with Israel are discreet but close. Each country finds it easy to identify with the other’s geopolitical difficulties and both rank Iran as an existential security threat.
Israel’s defense industry with its relaxed attitude about its customer base is a perfect match for Azerbaijan’s substantial military needs that are largely left unmet by the United States, Europe and Russia for various reasons tied to Armenia and Artsakh or Nagorno Karabakh.
Aptly described by Azerbaijani President Aliyev as being like an iceberg, nine-tenths of it is below the surface.
This relationship is also marked by a pragmatic recognition by Israel of Azerbaijan’s political need to hew publicly and in international forums to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s general line.
Much like Israel, Azerbaijan perceives Iran as a major, even existential security threat, and the two countries cooperation flows from this shared recognition.
Through its close relations with Israel, Azerbaijan gets a level of access to the quality weapon systems it needs to develop its army that it cannot obtain from the U.S. and Europe due to various legal limitations, nor from its ex-Soviet suppliers, Belarus and Ukraine.
Where other Western nations are reluctant to sell ground combat systems to the Azerbaijanis for fear of encouraging Azerbaijan to resort to war to occupy Artsakh, Israel, however, is free to make substantial arms sales and benefits greatly from deals with its well-heeled client.
While the Israeli Defense Ministry does not publish details of sales by country, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev in 2016 said his country had bought $4.85 billion in defense equipment from Israel.
Israel’s relations with Azerbaijan are based strongly on pragmatism and a keen appreciation of priorities. Israel’s main goal is to preserve Azerbaijan as an ally against Iran, a platform for reconnaissance of that country and as a market for military hardware.
In order to ensure those goals, the Israelis have keenly attuned themselves to the government of Azerbaijan’s needs as an Organization of Islamic Cooperation member and a state like Israel wedged between large, powerful and unfriendly neighbors. They forgo the option of pressuring the government of Azerbaijan on secondary issues to secure the primary ones. It is apparent to us that for now both sides are well satisfied with the bilateral state of affairs.
But Baku, on the other hand, balances its friendship with Israel in the Arab and Islamic countries. It is keen by all means not to anger Iran. Although 23 years have passed since the opening of an Israeli embassy in 1993 in Baku, the latter does not dare to open an embassy in Tel Aviv, because Tehran is standing in the way, threatening to tighten the noose around the isolated Nakhchivan region, which separates it from the Azerbaijani lands from the north and limits Armenia from Southern Iran.

Oil and Intelligence cooperation

Azerbaijan is also the largest exporter of oil to Israel, providing it with about 40% of the annual consumption, and Azerbaijani oil arrives to Tel Aviv via a pipeline that passes through Turkey, and the State Oil Company of the Republic of Azerbaijan carries out exploration for oil and gas off the coasts of Israel.
On the Israeli side, it is necessary for it to preserve Azerbaijan as an ally on the borders with its rival Iran, and a market and bridgehead for its intelligence activities, especially since Israeli intelligence in Azerbaijan feels itself at home; As a former Israeli diplomat told the Israeli-Russian website IZRUS in 2009.
Tel Aviv also supports Baku in the Artsakh conflict, based on Israel’s interests in the Middle East. It believes that the military solution to the Artsakh conflict will inevitably lead to the vibration of Moscow’s position in the South Caucasus, and will create major problems for it in its backyard; which could be a pretext to demand that Moscow limit its role in the Syrian crisis.
To sum up the complicated situation in the Caucasus, I cite the Famous French journalist Georges Malbruno who says that Israel, thanks to its drones delivered to Azerbaijan, is fighting alongside its “enemy of the moment”, Turkey, against Armenia.
But Baku, capital of Azerbaijan is also a center for Mossad to spy on Iran, which makes Israel’s help in killing Armenians worth the price.
But to make things a bit more comical, at a time when Azerbaijan uses Israeli drones, technology and long-range missiles against the Armenians of Artsakh, Erdogan states a few days ago that “Jerusalem is our city”, then Israel’s Minister of Defense Benny Gantz responds to Erdogan and accuses him of destabilizing the region.
I congratulate both sides for the successful timing of their statements.
📲Subtitles: Hibatullah Rayes Ali
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