The Iranian Foreign Ministry on Sunday called in the representative of Azerbaijan to Tehran, to protest Baku's alleged cooperation with Israel's Mossad. Iran's official news agency IRNA said that the Ministry had handed a note to regional Azeri representative Javanshir Akhundov, demanding that his country prevent the Mossad from using Azerbaijan as a base for attacks on Iran.
The meeting was apparently inspired by a weekend report in the London Times that Mossad agents were using Azerbaijan as a “hub” from which to conduct operations and spy on Iran. The report quoted an anonymous alleged agent who called himself “Shimon,” who said that Azerbaijan was “ground zero for Israeli intelligence work. Our presence here is quiet, but substantial. We have increased our presence in the past year, and it gets us very close to Iran. This is a wonderfully porous country.” According to the report, several individuals involved in the killing of Iranian nuclear scientists had escaped to Azerbaijan.
Last month, Russian media reported that a band of terrorists that had been arrested in Azerbaijan had been planning to attack Israeli personnel in the country, especially Israeli ambassador Michael Lotam.
At least two of the detainees were Azeris working on behalf of Iran, the reports said. The reports added that the gang had received its instructions from an Iranian mobster who was living in Azerbaijan. Weapons, including guns and bombs, had been smuggled into Azerbaijan from Iran in preparation for the attack, which police were able to prevent at the last minute.