Fars News Agency, Iran
March 31 2012

Expert: Azerbaijan Not to Open Embassy in Israel Due to Respect for Iran

TEHRAN (FNA)- A senior Azeri military expert and a former parliament
member dismissed the US reports about a military alliance between his
country and the Zionist regime of Israel, and said Azerbaijan even
refrains from opening an embassy in Israel due to its high esteem for
the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Azerbaijani military expert Vladimir Timoshenko, a lieutenant general
(retired) in the air defense forces and former MP, made the remarks in
an interview with News.Az.

Asked to comment on the information made public by the US sources that
Israel supposedly has an agreement with Azerbaijan on the use of
airfields by Israeli aircraft to attack Iran, he said, "It seems to me
that this is not the case. What these sources say is not true and
cannot be."

"The government of Azerbaijan will never agree to use the republic's
territory against Iran, even in exchange for a promise of gold
mountain, even if the Americans promise us to return Karabakh. I have
faith in this," he continued.

"Notice that because of the respect for the neighborly relations with
Iran, Azerbaijan for 20 years has not opened its embassy in Israel,"
he added.

He reiterated that a war on Iran would harm Azerbaijan's interests in
different ways.

"We are all aware of what we can face in the event of war in Iran. The
influx of a huge wave of refugees, many of which are our countrymen is
only one aspect of the problem, let alone the other aspects and
consequences of such a war for Azerbaijan."

Yet, the former general could not evade the question about the
assortment of weapons mentioned in the USD 1.6bn worth agreement of
Azerbaijan with Israel. The weapons deal includes such types of
weapons as anti-ship cruise missiles like Gabriel, which are obviously
not directed against Armenia as they are only good for a war in the

In response to the question against whom these missiles as well as
unmanned aerial vehicles Heron and Searcher, air defense system of
Barak type with 75 missiles and radar EL/M-2080 Green Pine could be
directed, the retired general said, "Perhaps anti-ship missiles have a
hint to Iran but only a hint in the negotiations on the status of the
Caspian Sea."

From: Baghdasarian