Tensions between Iran and its neighbor to the northwest, Azerbaijan, have risen once again today with the announcement that Azerbaijan has arrested 22 of their own citizens as “Iranian spies.”
Details were scant in the announcement, but the statement claimed that the targets were US and Israeli embassies and employees, and that some of the people had been recruited by Iran as far back as 1999.
That the alleged plot dates back so far is surprising, since the two nations had been on comparatively good terms until recent years. Their relations really took a turn for the worse last month, with the major Israeli arms sale to Azerbaijan and speculation that Israel might use Azerbaijani territory in its long-threatened attack on Iran.
The arrests are the biggest of a series of arrests claiming to show Iranian plots within the nation. The brother of one of the detainees, in an interview, said he believed the allegations are “unfounded and fabricated.”