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September 24, 2016 / 21 Elul, 5776
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Israeli Intelligence Monitoring Iran from Azerbaijan

Israeli president Shimon Peres shakes hands with the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev.

Israeli president Shimon Peres shakes hands with the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev.
Photo Credit: Flash90

Today’s London Times published an interview with a man who claims to be an agent of Israeli intelligence in Azerbaijan. Identifying himself as “Simon,” he told the publication that dozens of Israeli Mossad agents are operating in Azerbaijan.

“This is the starting point for intelligence work. Our presence here is unnoticed, but important. We have increased our presence in the past year, and it brings us very close to Iran. It’s amazing how vulnerable that country is,” said Simon.

According to the report, the meeting between the agent and a London Times reporter took place in Baku, outside the Israeli Embassy.

Four years ago, the Israeli diplomatic mission in Baku increased security measures, in response to the killing of senior Hizbollah commander Imad Mughniyeh.

Baku is a few hours by car from the Iranian border, and is known as the “gray zone” of intelligence operations. A large amount of information comes from people who regularly move freely across borders.

“Most of these (movements) are not controlled, except for the Iranians, who observe, as we watched them,” the agent told the Times. “It has been compared to Casablanca or Istanbul during World War II, a center of espionage.”

A local security expert believes that there are “only a few Mossad agents working there. But they are more efficient than the Iranian intelligence, which has thousands of agents there.”

“The Iranians are in the open, they want everyone to know that they are here. Israelis are thinner than the Americans. But, after all, everyone knows that they are here” he told the Times.

Political scientist Zazhdusht Alizadeh told the Times that the spy network in Baku are “an open secret.”

“We all know that they are here. The only secret is how much money they paid the Government of Azerbaijan in the form of bribes,” he said.

Tibbi Singer

About the Author: Tibbi Singer is a veteran contributor to publications such as Israel Shelanu and the US supplement of Yedioth, and Jewish Business News.


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