Iran Exercises Were to Warn Azerbaijan: Iranian Diplomat
Former Iranian diplomat Amir Mousavi revealed that Iran received intelligence regarding the presence of hundreds of Israeli operatives and ISIS militants on Azeri soil.
Iran received intelligence that there were 1,000 Israeli operatives and 1,800 ISIS operatives on Azeri soil, revealed former Iranian diplomat, Amir Mousavi.
Mousavi told Al Mayadeen that Iran deployed its military on the borders with Azerbaijan as a 'warning' to Baku "not to play with fire."
Mousavi stressed that Iran's message was that Tehran would not allow ISIS and the Israelis to threaten regional stability. "Israelis with advanced equipment in Azerbaijan played a role in the assassination of Iranian scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh," he said.
The diplomat also noted a Turkish involvement in the Azerbaijani issue: "Perhaps to distract Iran from certain issues in Syria."
Mousavi, with a nod to the normalization between "Israel" and the UAE, stressed that the occupation is attempting to pitch Abu Dhabi against Iran on the economic level. However, it was unsuccessful, he asserted. "Countries such as Qatar, Kuwait, and Oman did not allow the Zionists to tamper with Gulf security to harm Iran."
The Iranian army launched Friday military exercises, which involved armored and artillery units, as well as drones and helicopters, in the Northwest of Iran on the borders with Azerbaijan.
Commander of the Islamic Republic of Iran Army Ground Forces, Kioumars Heydari, clarified that the goal behind the exercises is to "improve the combat readiness of the Ground Forces in this region," not specifying a geographic scope nor a set time period.
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian asserted that it is a country's sovereign right to carry out military exercises on its soil. "Tehran does not tolerate Israeli activity and actions against its national security. It will take any action necessary in this regard," he said.
Azeri President Ilham Aliyev reportedly voiced his 'surprise' over the planned exercises on the borders with Nagorno-Karabakh after the Azeri forces took control of the region, noting that "Iran never took such a step when the region was under Armenia's control."
Iran and Azerbaijan share around 700 km of borders. Tehran maintains good relations with both of its neighbors, Yerevan and Baku, despite the rivalry between the two. Iran welcomed the two countries' ceasefire agreement that put an end to weeks-long fighting over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region in November of 2020.