Azerbaijan Says it Thwarted an Iranian Plot to Kill an Israeli Ambassador

The small Caucasus nation has a history of mistrust with Iran, which denies the allegations.

Azer Jan27 P.jpg

Construction in the Azerbaijan capital of Baku / Reuters

Amid growing tensions over Iran's nuclear research program, Azerbaijan claims that it has foiled an alleged Iranian assassination plot against the Israeli ambassador to Baku, Michael Lotem. Iran has denied complicity, calling it a US and Israel-staged show, and reprimanded Baku for being part of it.

Israeli President Shimon Peres thanked Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev on January 26 for foiling the alleged plot.   

An earlier report by Azerbaijani media that a Jewish religious school was also targeted has been denied by a spokesperson, The Jerusalem Post reported.

The alleged assassination plot follows on the heels of the recent killing of an Iranian nuclear scientist in Tehran, an attack Tehran blames on Israel.

Behind a veneer of good relations, Azerbaijan and Iran, which has a large ethnic Azeri minority, have a long history of mutual distrust and recriminations. Recently, those suspicions have started to kick back into high gear, helped along by a series of cyber-attacks Baku links to Iran.

Obviously feeling the pressure, the Iranian embassy in Baku hinted on January 26 that Tehran may reconsider its commitment to the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan (meaning recognizing breakaway Nagorno Karabakh as part of Azerbaijan) if Azerbaijani officials let outside forces sow discord between the neighbors.

"We believe that the glorious people of Azerbaijan understand that this part of this script of Iranophobia and Islamophobia is organized by the Zionists and the United States," the embassy said, News.az reported.

This article originally appeared at EurasiaNet.org, an Atlantic partner site.

Presented by

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Confessions of Moms Around the World

A global look at the hardest and best job ever

Video

A Stop-Motion Tour of New York City

A filmmaker animated hundreds of still photographs to create this Big Apple flip book

Video

The Absurd Psychology of Restaurant Menus

Would people eat healthier if celery was called "cool celery?"

Video

This Japanese Inn Has Been Open for 1,300 Years

It's one of the oldest family businesses in the world.

More in Global

Just In