Baku has taken a historic step to establish closer ties with Israel and take them to new highs following the Iran-Armenian duo in the South Caucasus.
Back in November 2022 when the Azerbaijani parliament endorsed a law giving the go-ahead for the opening of the nation's first-ever embassy in Tel Aviv, it sent shockwaves through Iran's theocratic regime in Tehran and mobilized overtly and covertly the regime-backed militants and militia groups against Azerbaijan.
Frustrated by the move, the Tehran regime and its mouthpieces doubled their anti-Azerbaijani rhetoric and accusations of cooperation with Israel, providing Tel Aviv with opportunities to establish a military presence in Iran's backyard.
As regards the diplomatic relationship between Israel and Azerbaijan, it goes back to the early 1990s with Tel Aviv’s significant support to Azerbaijan, during the rise of the ongoing conflict with Armenia over Karabakh.
The appointment of Baku’s first envoy to Israel after 30 years of mutual relations made this connection more promising.
Speaking to Azernews, Israeli political analyst Dr. Hay Eytan Cohen Yanarocak from Tel Aviv University said that the opening of the Azerbaijani embassy in Israel is of great importance.
“The inauguration of the Azerbaijani embassy in Israel should not be considered as an ordinary act. It is a strategic decision. It is a clear message to Tehran. During the Second Karabakh War, Iran openly supported Armenia. Today, in the aftermath of the war, we all see the Tehran regime is against the Zangazur corridor. Iran conducts military drills at the border with Azerbaijan. Bearing in mind all these facts, Iran's aggressive attitude against Azerbaijan should encourage Israel to deepen her relations with Baku even more,” the political analyst opined.
The pundit added that Israel also considers Turkiye’s exceptional role in the security of the region. According to him, peace and security are maintained through joint efforts in the political and military sectors.
“The Israeli-Azerbaijani joint military drills - similar to those that were conducted by Israel and Turkiye during the 1990s - can further strengthen the relations. Certainly, this rapprochement can even be strengthened with Turkiye’s inclusion in the equitation,” he said.
The professor also emphasized the future prospect of Israel-Azerbaijan relations in the diplomatic sphere.
“The inauguration of the Azerbaijani embassy will eventually pave the way for further improvement of the people-to-people relations and will boost trade, tourism, and further cooperation. As an Israeli academic working at both Tel Aviv and Ben Gurion University, I am looking forward to launching new projects with my Azerbaijani colleagues.”
Another Israeli media expert Shmuel Dean Elmas said having the Israeli embassy alone in Azerbaijan would never maintain strong relations between the two countries.
“I believe that George Deek is an amazing ambassador, but you can't expand your bilateral relations one-sidedly. Muxtar bay is an experienced diplomat that will contribute to the development of the economic, defense, and tourism ties. I am convinced that the trade volume will break records in the upcoming years.”
According to Elmas, Tehran is more anxious as it better realizes that the relations between Azerbaijan and Israel are not like the one between Iran and Armenia.
“When you want to check your friends, you should do it in tough times. I think that if you take the 1990s or the Second Karabakh War as an example, we can see how Israel is among the two best friends of Baku. Therefore, the Ayatollah regime is afraid so much. As for Israel's existence in the South Caucasus, so if Armenia thinks about another war, they should understand that their odds are so bad when Israel is with Azerbaijan.”