AZERBAIJAN’S PRESIDENT Ilham Aliyev with Ahmadinejad 370 (R).
(photo credit: Vugar Amrullaev/Reuters)
In recent years, Israel and Azerbaijan have intensified their security cooperation and military trade. At the same time, tensions between Azerbaijan and Iran have increased. Yet these two developments have been largely independent of each other, despite Tehran’s efforts to promote misconceptions to the contrary.Israel recognized Azerbaijan’s independence in 1991 and opened an embassy there in 1993. Since then, several Israeli delegations have visited the country: in 1997, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met with then president Heydar Aliyev; in 2009, three Israeli ministers and 50 businessmen joined President Shimon Peres to visit current president Ilham Aliyev, with whom Peres is close; and former foreign minister Avigdor Liberman visited in February 2010 and April 2012.