Iran ‘Refuses to Sell’ Missile Supplies to Azerbaijan

A long-range Qadr ballistic missile is launched in the Alborz mountain range in northern Iran (Photo: AFP)
A long-range Qadr ballistic missile is launched in the Alborz mountain range in northern Iran (Photo: AFP)

A long-range Qadr ballistic missile is launched in the Alborz mountain range in northern Iran (Photo: AFP)

TEHRAN (RFE/RL)—Iran has repeatedly refused to sell long-range missiles to Azerbaijan, a pro-government Azerbaijani lawmaker said late on Tuesday as he dismissed Iranian criticism of his country’s close ties with Israel.

“Israel plays an important role in creating Azerbaijan’s defense industry and providing it with modern weapons, whereas Iran has responded negatively to Azerbaijan’s repeated requests for the sale of long-range missiles,” Elman Nasirov told the APA news agency.

“Azerbaijan’s close ties with Israel can serve as a model for other Muslim countries,” he said. “They have a bilateral character and do not harm ties with other states.”

Nasirov, who also runs a state think-tank in Azerbaijan, did not specify the type of Iranian missiles that were sought by Baku.

The Azerbaijani government seems keen to offset the recent acquisition by Armenia of sophisticated Russian Iskander missiles. The missiles have significantly strengthened Yerevan’s ability to strike oil and gas installations and other strategic targets in Azerbaijan in the event of a renewed war for Karabakh.

Nasirov’s comments came in response to Iranian officials’ angry reaction to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s recent visit to Azerbaijan.

An Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman reportedly said on Monday that the Azerbaijani government should not have hosted Netanyahu. He accused Israel of seeking to “spread discord” among Islamic states.

Iranian officials have also criticized Azerbaijani-Israeli intergovernmental contacts in the past. Azerbaijani pro-government politicians dismissed the criticism, pointing to Iran’s close rapport with Armenia.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani underscored those ties with his official visit to Yerevan on Wednesday. He called for a peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

News reports quoted Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev as saying after his December 13 talks with Netanyahu that Azerbaijan has signed about $5 billion worth of defense contracts with Israel over the past decade. The Azerbaijani army used some of its Israeli-made weapons, notably attack drones, during the April 2016 fighting in Karabakh.


Discussion Policy

Comments are welcomed and encouraged. Though you are fully responsible for the content you post, comments that include profanity, personal attacks or other inappropriate material will not be permitted. Asbarez reserves the right to block users who violate any of our posting standards and policies.


  1. Raffi said:

    That is the reason of Israel’s not recognizing the Armenian Genocide, Money, Money, Money, it isn’t anything new with Israel, Jesus expelled the Jewish merchants and money changers from the Temple 2000 years ago, since than nothing have changed, they sell their soul for money, the reason for what happened to them in Hiters Germany.

  2. Ari said:

    Iranians are not stupid! Why would they sell any destructive weapons to a corrupt Azerbaijani government that can easily turn those weapons again Iran.

    Let’s not forget that on the long run the Azerbaijan’s government wants to unify Iranian States of Azerbaijan with itself and become a local power house. This plan will serve the Turkish Islamist Nationalist Republic quite well because the grand plan of an Ottaman Empire stretching to the East will come closer to reality- as the genocidal Young Turks had envisioned.

    Turk loving Georgian and Russian governments take note!

    • Ararat said:

      The artificial state of Azerbaijan will never attempt such a thing on Iran no matter what weapons they have because if they do that will be the beginning of the end for them. Iran is a very powerful country compared to its neighbors but unlike them Iran is not a war-mongering country even though Azerbaijan, just like Turkey, having close ties and friendly relations with the Israelis, Iran’s arch-enemy, is a thorn in the eyes of the Iranians. I have no doubt Iran is looking for the opportunity and an excuse to put Azerbaijan in its place and to remind Aliyev the he is playing with fire hosting Israelis right next door to Iran’s border. The Iranians know the real intention of such close relations between Israel and Azerbaijan that goes beyond selling weapons and getting cheap Caspian oil and that is to establish secret Israeli military bases in Azerbaijan for possible future Israeli attack on Iran to take out their nuclear reactors. The closer the relations get between Israel and Azerbaijan the more hostile Iran will become toward Azerbaijan thus bringing Iran and Armenia even closer together and against Azerbaijan.

      I think the days of the Ottoman hegemony over the region is long over, thanks to a handful of Armenian patriots who assassinated the genocidal Ottoman leadership in exile in 1920s, and no matter what the current Turkish mullah and terrorist-in-chief Erdogan tries he won’t be able to reinstate that defunct empire again because both Russia and Iran will never allow this to happen in their backyards given the fact that not only Turkey is the only Muslim terrorist NATO member country in the region, thus anti-Russian by default, but also because Turkey, along with other Arab western puppet countries such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar, is Sunni Muslim, thus anti-Shia Iran, right next door to Iran with a sizable Turkish-speaking Persian population in Northwestern Iran with some pro-Azerbaijan separatist elements among them.

      The Georgians right now seem to be sleep at the wheel and their foreign policy seems to be based on knee-jerk reactions. They are more pro-Turkey and Azerbaijan than Armenia because they consider Russia their number one enemy in the region and Armenia, by association to Russia, to some extent. What they don’t realize is that their country, built by past Armenian kings and royalty, is in the process of Islamization by the Turks and other Turkic people in the region and sooner or later it will implode from within. The Russians are sort of tricky because they are primarily concerned about their own self-interests at the expense of the others, unfortunately sometimes at the expense of their own allies. Armenia can correct this errors on Russia’s part by reminding them that alliance is a two-way street and there are consequences when it becomes one-sided.