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Israeli & Iranian spies arrested in Azerbaijan?

April 11th, 2012

“…At the same time that we are seeing hints of progress on the diplomatic front, it appears that a number of Iranian and Israeli spies have been taken out of action from their operations bases in Azerbaijan.

Back in the middle of March, Azerbaijan announced they had arrested 22 spies working for Iran:
The authorities in Azerbaijan have arrested 22 people on suspicion of spying for Iran, accusing them of links to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.The undated arrests were confirmed in a brief statement by the Azerbaijani national security ministry./snip/…

Yesterday, Iran announced the arrests of a number of Israeli agents, some of whom are presumed to have been in Azerbaijan and some of whom were in Iran. From Mehr News:
The Iranian Intelligence Ministry, in a statement issued on Tuesday, announced that key members of an Israeli terrorist network have been identified and arrested in the country.The statement said that intelligence forces, in a series of operations in a number of central and border provinces of Iran, managed to identify a major Zionist network of terror and sabotage and arrest a number of criminal terrorists and mercenaries affiliated with the network…….

 Speculation that the spies were based in Azerbaijan comes from the Washington Post:

Although the report did not name the regional country, Iranian media in recent months have quoted several officials as saying that neighboring Azerbaijan has sheltered operatives plotting attacks in Iran.

Earlier this week, MSNBC published a very informative background piece on the use of Azerbaijan as a base for operation of spies on both sides of the Israel-Iran dispute:
A Soviet-legacy oil nation is emerging as a hotbed of global espionage as tension escalates between Israel and Iran.Azerbaijan, which links Russia to the Middle East, has strategic importance as a bridgehead for the West in its war of diplomacy with Tehran./snip/“Like Casablanca in World War II, Baku is now also a center of monitoring Iranian mischief,” Ariel Cohen, senior research fellow at the Washington-based Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies, part of the Heritage Foundation, told msnbc.com. “This is understandable taking into account visa-free regime of travel between the two countries and aggressive Iranian intelligence tactics.”



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