Israel allegedly has gained access to a former Soviet airfield in Azerbaijan that some U.S. officials are worried could be related to Israeli planning for an attack on Iranian nuclear facilities, according a March 28, 2012 foreignpolicy.com article . . . the airfield reportedly could be used for Israeli bombers to return to after an attack on Iran or to base Israeli search-and-rescue teams . . . Israel strengthened its relations with Azerbaijan last February with a $1.6 billion arms deal . . . Iran/Azerbaijan relations have plummeted in recent months due to Iranian accusations that Azerbaijan supported Israeli-trained assassination squads targeting Iranian nuclear scientists and the arrest in Azerbaijan earlier this year 0f 22 Iranians on charges of spying for Iran and planning terrorist acts . . . Azerbaijan officials today denied this allegation as “absurd” and “groundless” . . . LIGNET believes it is unlikely that Azerbaijan would allow Israel to launch an attack from its territory . . . Israel may have be trying to negotiate agreements with neighboring states for alternate landing sites for damaged or malfunctioning aircraft after an attack on Iran . . . the publicity may cause Azerbaijan to call off the deal if it was actually made . . . the leaks of this story by so many unnamed U.S. officials look like an organized U.S. campaign to prevent an Israeli attack on Iran.
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