Azerbaijan Denies Giving Israel Military Air Access

Posted March 29th, 2012 at 11:35 am (UTC-5)
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Azerbaijan has denied a report that it granted Israel access to air bases near the Iranian border.

A spokesman for the Defense Ministry in Baku said Thursday that the report in U.S.-based Foreign Policy magazine is inaccurate.

On Wednesday, the magazine cited unnamed senior diplomats and security officers as saying the U.S. has concluded that Azerbaijan recently granted air field access to Israel. The report suggested the site could be used for Israeli military action against Iran.

The French news agency quotes the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry spokesman as calling the report “absurd” and “groundless.”

Relations between Azerbaijan and Iran have been strained by several recent incidents.

Earlier this month, Azerbaijan said it had broken up an Iranian-backed plot to attack U.S. and Israeli embassies. Iran denied any role in the alleged plot.

In February, Tehran accused Azerbaijan of involvement in what it called an Israeli plot to assassinate Iranian nuclear scientists. Baku rejected the allegations as “slander.”