Baku-Jerusalem in £1bn deal

By Anshel Pfeffer, March 1, 2012
Azer troops on parade

Azer troops on parade

Azerbaijan has signed an agreement to purchase weapons systems worth £1 billion from Israel. Iran's neighbour has been growing closer to Israel amid reports of attempts by Iranian agents to carry out terror attacks against Israeli targets on Azeri soil.

The agreement, signed with Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI), includes unmanned reconnaissance drones, anti-missile and anti-aircraft defence systems and ground-stations for satellites. While in the past Iran and Azerbaijan have had cordial relations, recently there has been tension between the two, mainly due to disputes over exploitation of resources under the Caspian Sea.

The country is a useful base for surveillance and Iran and since there is a large Azeri minority living in Iran, it is relatively easy to cross the border.

One analyst said: "It is not surprising that the deal is focused mainly on intelligence gathering systems, as the products can be shared between them."

Last updated: 3:25pm, March 1 2012