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True2Ourselves Forums   > Community Topics > Christianity & Politics  > Israel's Secret Staging Ground

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Old 04-21-2012, 09:42 AM
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Default Israel's Secret Staging Ground

Israel's Secret Staging Ground
U.S. officials believe that the Israelis have gained access to airbases in Azerbaijan.
Does this bring them one step closer to a war with Iran?
>> Israel's Secret Staging Ground - By Mark Perry | Foreign Policy


In 2009, the deputy chief of mission of the U.S. embassy in Baku, Donald Lu, sent a cable to the State Department's headquarters in Foggy Bottom titled "Azerbaijan's discreet symbiosis with Israel." The memo, later released by WikiLeaks, quotes Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev as describing his country's relationship with the Jewish state as an iceberg: "nine-tenths of it is below the surface."

Why does it matter? Because Azerbaijan is strategically located on Iran's northern border and, according to several high-level sources I've spoken with inside the U.S. government, Obama administration officials now believe that the "submerged" aspect of the Israeli-Azerbaijani alliance -- the security cooperation between the two countries -- is heightening the risks of an Israeli strike on Iran

In particular, four senior diplomats and military intelligence officers say that the United States has concluded that Israel has recently been granted access to airbases on Iran's northern border. To do what, exactly, is not clear. "The Israelis have bought an airfield," a senior administration official told me in early February, "and the airfield is called Azerbaijan."

Senior U.S. intelligence officials are increasingly concerned that Israel's military expansion into Azerbaijan complicates U.S. efforts to dampen Israeli-Iranian tensions, according to the sources. Military planners, I was told, must now plan not only for a war scenario that includes the Persian Gulf -- but one that could include the Caucasus. The burgeoning Israel-Azerbaijan relationship has also become a flashpoint in both countries' relationship with Turkey, a regional heavyweight that fears the economic and political fallout of a war with Iran. Turkey's most senior government officials have raised their concerns with their U.S. counterparts, as well as with the Azeris, the sources said.

The Israeli embassy in Washington, the Israel Defense Forces, and the Mossad, Israel's national intelligence agency, were all contacted for comment on this story but did not respond.

The Azeri embassy to the United States also did not respond to requests for information regarding Azerbaijan's security agreements with Israel. During a recent visit to Tehran, however, Azerbaijan's defense minister publicly ruled out the use of Azerbaijan for a strike on Iran. "The Republic of Azerbaijan, like always in the past, will never permit any country to take advantage of its land, or air, against the Islamic Republic of Iran, which we consider our brother and friend country," he said. (Following the publication of this article, an Azeri spokesman denied that his government had granted Israel access to Azeri airbases.)

But even if his government makes good on that promise, it could still provide Israel with essential support. A U.S. military intelligence officer noted that Azeri defense minister did not explicitly bar Israeli bombers from landing in the country after a strike. Nor did he rule out the basing of Israeli search-and-rescue units in the country. Proffering such landing rights -- and mounting search and rescue operations closer to Iran -- would make an Israeli attack on Iran easier.

"We're watching what Iran does closely," one of the U.S. sources, an intelligence officer engaged in assessing the ramifications of a prospective Israeli attack confirmed. "But we're now watching what Israel is doing in Azerbaijan. And we're not happy about it."

Israel's deepening relationship with the Baku government was cemented in February by a $1.6 billion arms agreement that provides Azerbaijan with sophisticated drones and missile-defense systems. At the same time, Baku's ties with Tehran have frayed: Iran presented a note to Azerbaijan's ambassador last month claiming that Baku has supported Israeli-trained assassination squads targeting Iranian scientists, an accusation the Azeri government called "a slander." In February, a member of Yeni Azerbadzhan -- the ruling party -- called on the government to change the country's name to "North Azerbaijan," implicitly suggesting that the 16 million Azeris who live in northern Iran ("South Azerbaijan") are in need of liberation.

And this month, Baku announced that 22 people had been arrested for spying on behalf of Iran, charging they had been tasked by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps to "commit terrorist acts against the U.S., Israeli, and other Western states' embassies." The allegations prompted multiple angry denials from the Iranian government
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Old 04-23-2012, 12:34 PM
Timeless
 
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Default Re: Israel's Secret Staging Ground

It can in no way be seen as acceptable for Iran to gain access to Nuclear weapons. The fact that they are a known state sponsor of terrorist groups is on its own enough reason for the international community to prevent Iran from gaining nuclear weapons and while action has been taken it has not to this point been strong enough, largely because of a lack of cooperation from Russia and China.

I hope and pray that there is a way that Iran’s nuclear program can be stopped without military action by either the US or Israel as that would be a very dangerous mission for all the pilots involved and would certainly destabilize the region further, but with that said I would rather military action be taken if it is necessary then allow Iran to get Nuclear weapons. Either way the situation requires our continued prayer.
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Old 04-24-2012, 07:23 AM
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Default Re: Israel's Secret Staging Ground

Quote:
Originally Posted by Timeless View Post
It can in no way be seen as acceptable for Iran to gain access to Nuclear weapons. The fact that they are a known state sponsor of terrorist groups is on its own enough reason for the international community to prevent Iran from gaining nuclear weapons and while action has been taken it has not to this point been strong enough, largely because of a lack of cooperation from Russia and China.

I hope and pray that there is a way that Iran’s nuclear program can be stopped without military action by either the US or Israel as that would be a very dangerous mission for all the pilots involved and would certainly destabilize the region further, but with that said I would rather military action be taken if it is necessary then allow Iran to get Nuclear weapons. Either way the situation requires our continued prayer.
I couldn't have said it better myself! Great post!
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Old 04-24-2012, 07:43 AM
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Default Re: Israel's Secret Staging Ground

Israel's deepening relationship with the Baku government was cemented in February by a $1.6 billion arms agreement that provides Azerbaijan with sophisticated drones and missile-defense systems.

Keep up the rhetoric and line the pockets of........secret staging stagers.
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Old 05-09-2012, 10:43 AM
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Default Re: Israel's Secret Staging Ground

I really do not think Iran will use the bomb nor, give it to terrorists. They could have sent a dirty bomb to Israel decades ago and still have not.
Although the Karine A episode most definitely links the country to terrorism.
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Old 05-09-2012, 11:19 AM
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Default Re: Israel's Secret Staging Ground

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Originally Posted by differentDemocrat View Post
I really do not think Iran will use the bomb nor, give it to terrorists..........
Israel does not have the luxury of simply hoping that is true. If they guess wrong, they cease to exist. They cannot allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon.
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Old 09-06-2012, 06:20 AM
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Default Re: Israel's Secret Staging Ground


Releveant recent story:



Israeli Officials See Gap With U.S. Widening Over Iran
By Calev Ben-David - Sep 3, 2012 8:54 AM PT
>> Israeli Officials See Gap With U.S. Widening Over Iran - Bloomberg

Quote:
Military action against Iran’s nuclear program could be averted if the international community sets a clear “red line” it will not permit Iran to cross, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said today.

Netanyahu’s comments came as the U.S. reportedly is considering making such a declaration to head off a possible Israeli strike on Iran. President Barack Obama has said the U.S. won’t allow Iran to have nuclear weapons, while Israeli leaders have said that Iran even attaining the capability to make them would pose an existential threat to their country.

“This is a brutal regime that is racing ahead with its nuclear program, because it doesn’t see a clear red line from the international community,” Netanyahu said today at a meeting in his Jerusalem office, according to an e-mailed statement. “The greater the resolve and the clearer the red line, the less likely we’ll have conflict.”

Obama is considering new steps to forestall a unilateral Israeli strike, including a declaration on what Iranian actions might trigger a U.S military response, the New York Times reported yesterday.

Netanyahu’s statement today came after Israeli officials expressed dismay over remarks last week by U.S. General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, that an Israeli strike would “delay but probably not destroy” Iran’s program, and that he doesn’t “want to be complicit” if Israel chooses to attack on its own. The two officials, who were not authorized to give their names, said that Dempsey’s comments had weakened the argument that Israel should not strike by Iran by itself because it can count on U.S. willingness to take military action to prevent Iran from attaining nuclear weapons.

Quickened the Pace

The International Atomic Energy Agency said in a report last week that Iran has quickened the pace of enriching uranium to possible weapons capability, and that there was new information that supports concern Iran may have researched how to make nuclear arms.

“The report confirms what we have been saying for some time: while the international sanctions are indeed making things difficult for the Iranian economy, they are not delaying the progress,” Netanyahu said in a Cabinet meeting yesterday.

Netanyahu is scheduled to visit New York on Sept. 27 to speak at the United Nations General Assembly. U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro told Channel Two television yesterday that the relationship between Obama and Netanyahu is “what it needs to be” and said the media are exaggerating the differences between the U.S. and Israel on Iran.

Disagreement With U.S.

The disagreement between Israel and the U.S. on Iran is “over timing, and regarding that, there are certainly our statements and opinions as opposed to those of the Americans,” Israeli Vice Prime Minister Silvan Shalom said today on Army Radio. “But there is no disagreement between us and the Americans over the need to stop Iran.’

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Aug. 31 in Tehran that his country’s nuclear program is intended for civilian purposes only and to use it to build weapons would be ‘‘a sin.”

Israeli and U.S. leaders have said repeatedly that “all options are on the table” to contain Iran’s nuclear ambitions, including a military strike. Netanyahu told U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Aug. 1 that time “is running out” for a peaceful solution to Iran’s atomic program.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told France’s BFM television today that he is “absolutely hostile to Iran having nuclear weapons, but I think that if there were an Israeli attack, unfortunately it could come back to haunt Israel by allowing Iran to cast itself as a victim.”
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