Azerbaijan Arrests Iranian Terror Suspects

The Associated Press is reporting that Azerbaijan has arrested Iranian terror suspects.

Security services in Azerbaijan have arrested 22 people they say were hired by Iran to carry out terrorist attacks against the United States and Israeli embassies as well as groups and companies with Western ties. The national security ministry said Wednesday that the suspects, all Azerbaijan citizens, had been trained in Iran, its southern neighbor, by the Revolutionary Guards. In February, Azerbaijan announced the arrests of members of another suspected terrorist group that was said to have been working for Iran’s secret services, and in January two people were accused of plotting to kill two teachers at a Jewish school in the capital, Baku.

As suggested in the story, Azerbaijan — along with the United States and Israel — has been engaged in a covert war with Iran for some time. Iran views Azerbaijan as a crucial link in the chain and a potentially threatening staging ground for U.S. attacks. Although the majority of both populations are Shi’i Muslims, the Azerbaijanis are moderate and tolerant of other faiths, and remain a close U.S. ally.

Iran also faces a restive Azerbaijani population in its borders as a result of border-setting in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Expect this sort of activity to continue into the future.

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