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Azerbaijan accused of granting Israel access to air bases to mount strike against Iran (TELEGRAPH UK) By Our Foreign Staff 03/30/12) Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iran/9174521/Azerbaijan-accused-of-granting-Israel-access-to-air-bases-to-mount-strike-against-Iran.html DAILY TELEGRAPH DAILY TELEGRAPH Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
US diplomats and military intelligence officials have claimed that Azerbaijan had granted Israel access to its air bases, which could assist in potential strikes against its neighbour Iran.

Citing anonymous senior officials, Foreign Policy magazine suggested that cooperation between Azerbaijan and Israel was "heightening the risks of an Israeli strike on Iran".

The article suggested that access to Azerbaijani airfields near the Iranian border could give Israeli fighter planes logistical advantages in carrying out sorties against nuclear facilities in Iran, which the Jewish state suspects of developing atomic weapons. The Azerbaijani defence ministry said the claims were "absurd and groundless".

A senior official at Azerbaijan´s presidential administration said such speculation was "aimed at damaging relations between Azerbaijan and Iran".

Relations between Baku and Tehran have become increasingly strained in recent months with Iran unhappy about Azerbaijan´s friendly links with Israel and its reported purchase of hundreds of millions of dollars´ worth of weapons.

Tehran last month accused Azerbaijan of working with Israel´s spy services and helping assassins who murdered Iranian nuclear scientists in recent years - a claim rejected by Baku as "slander".

Tensions have also flared over a series of recent arrests in Azerbaijan of suspected attack plotters with alleged links to Tehran. (© Copyright of Telegraph Media Group Limited 2012. 03/30/12)

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