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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
07BAKU224
2007-02-21 05:52:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Baku
Cable title:  

ISRAELI AMBASSADOR REVIEWS PRESIDENT ALIYEV'S

Tags:   PGOV  PREL  AJ  IS 
pdf how-to read a cable
VZCZCXRO2699
PP RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHDIR RUEHKUK
DE RUEHKB #0224/01 0520552
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 210552Z FEB 07
FM AMEMBASSY BAKU
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2432
INFO RUCNIRA/IRAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHTV/AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV PRIORITY 0046
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/CDR USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RUEHDIR/IRAN RPO DUBAI PRIORITY
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BAKU 000224 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

FOR EUR/CARC

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/21/2017
TAGS: PGOV PREL AJ IS
SUBJECT: ISRAELI AMBASSADOR REVIEWS PRESIDENT ALIYEV'S
RECENT COMMENTS ABOUT IRAN

REF: A. 06 BAKU 01684


B. 06 BAKU 01835

BAKU 00000224 001.2 OF 002


Classified By: Ambassador Anne E. Derse for reasons 1.4 (b, d)



1. (C) Summary: Israeli Ambassador Arthur Lenk met with the
Ambassador on February 16 to discuss President Aliyev's
recent comments on Iran to the Israeli Foreign Minister
during the January 24-28 World Economic Forum. Aliyev
reportedly characterized Iran as a "cornered, wild animal"
that is "not going to back down" in the face of international
sanctions. Aliyev suggested that there needs to be further
engagement with Iran. Aliyev also reportedly suggested that
after the US leaves Iraq, there will be a corresponding
declining US interest in Azerbaijan. On the bilateral
Israeli-Azerbaijani relationship, Lenk commented that while
the GOAJ is "enthusiastic" about closer ties, "almost nothing
happens unless we push" the GOAJ. End Summary.

Aliyev Refers to Iran as a "Cornered, Wild Animal"


--------------------------



--------------------------





2. (C) Lenk provided the Ambassador with a readout on
Israeli Foreign Affairs Minister Tzipi Livni's meeting with
President Aliyev during the annual meeting of the World
Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. According to Lenk,
Livni and Aliyev's meeting primarily focused on Iran, with
Aliyev doing most of the talking. Lenk noted that Livni and
Aliyev spent only a limited amount of time addressing
"bilateral issues" and the Organization of the Islamic
Conference (OIC).



3. (C) Aliyev reportedly said Iran is a "significant
problem" and is like a "cornered, wild animal," while
suggesting that there is no effective international mechanism
to counter the threat posed by Iran. Iran is "not going to
back down" because of international sanctions, according to
Aliyev. Aliyev also reportedly said that US pressure against
Iran will not work. Tracking with Aliyev's public message,
Aliyev reportedly suggested that there needs to be further
engagement with Iran. Aliyev also reportedly suggested that
after the US leaves Iraq, there will be a corresponding
declining US interest in Azerbaijan. Finally, Aliyev
remarked that the outcome of almost any scenario --
concerning the US or the UN's policy toward Iran -- for
Azerbaijan is likely to be bad. Aliyev also noted that
Azerbaijan feels "under pressure" by Iran because of
Azerbaijan's good relations with the US and Israel.

Commentary about the Bilateral Relationship


--------------------------





4. (C) Lenk commented that historically Israel's relations
with Azerbaijan have "ebbed and flowed." Azerbaijan is,
however, "enthusiastic" about pursuing closer relations with
Israel. The GOAJ's general hesitancy to sign agreements with
Israel and the lack of an Azerbaijani embassy in Israel

complicates matters, according to Lenk. Lenk also observed
that "almost nothing happens (in the bilateral relationship)
unless we push" the GOAJ. Lenk remarked that Azerbaijan sees
good relations with Israel as a window for closer relations
with the US. Azerbaijan also probably looks to Israel as a
model for understanding how a small country surrounded by
enemies can defend itself, according to Lenk.

Bilateral Visits


--------------------------





5. (C) Lenk told the Ambassador that Israeli Deputy Defense
Minister Ephraim Sneh will visit Azerbaijan for two days of
meetings in late February. The purpose of the visit is to
discuss Iran, according to Lenk, and in a sign that the GOAJ
attaches importance to the visit, President Aliyev has
already tentatively scheduled a meeting with Sneh. (Note:
Meetings with President Aliyev typically are not confirmed
until several hours beforehand. End Note.)



6. (C) Lenk said Vahid Aliyev, President Aliyev's aide on
security issues, was currently in Israel for medical reasons.
Vahid Aliyev's trip involves two days of meetings, including
meetings with Sneh and the Mossad. In addition, Lenk noted
that Azerbaijani Economic Development Minister Heydar Babayev
will begin a visit to Israel on February 25. Lenk said the
highlight of the visit will be the signing of a bilateral
trade and investment agreement, which will be the first
bilateral economic agreement between Azerbaijan and Israel.

BAKU 00000224 002.2 OF 002


In response to the Ambassador's question on other bilateral
agreements, Lenk commented that there are two existing
bilateral security agreements, which are not public.



7. (C) Azerbaijani Minister of Defense Industry Yavar
Jamalov will visit Israel in late April or early May,
according to Lenk. (Comment: While the purpose of the visit
remains unclear, Jamalov's ministry was created in December
2005 and Jamalov has been busy visiting a number of countries
in connection with purchases to bolster Azerbaijan's defense
sector and refurbish its decayed defense industry. -- reftel
A).

Russia


--------------------------





8. (C) Turning briefly to Israel's relations with Russia,
Lenk said Israel "needs to work with Russia" at some level.
Lenk observed that while he had read Azerbaijani Foreign
Minister Mammadyarov's Wall Street Journal editorial --
titled "Protect Us From Bullies" -- Russian Ambassador to
Azerbaijan Vasiliy Istratov told him that he had not even
reported it to Moscow, as people inside the Kremlin do not
read the Wall Street Journal and if they did read the op-ed,
it would only cause trouble.

Comment


--------------------------





9. (C) Aliyev's comments about Iran are consistent with the
message he delivers to us (reftel B). The GOAJ continues to
perceive little advantage in supporting US or UN policies
that Iran perceives as threatening. We believe that A/S
Rodman's recent visit has opened the door to addressing these
concerns.
DERSE