Analysis: How Iran is using Caucasian states to harm Israel
'Iranian Revolution Guards Corps plan to create a Hezbollah type organization in this area'
Two big pieces of news came from Caucasian states last week - Azerbaijan announced the opening of its embassy in Israel, while Georgia thwarted an Iranian attack on Israeli businessman Itsik Moshe.
These seemingly unrelated events have one thing in common - both countries that have friendly relations with Jerusalem have in recent years become highly important for Iran's efforts to harm the Jewish state.
According to local media, interrogations of captured Iranian operatives in Georgia showed they were in contact with Iranian agents in Azerbaijan’s capital of Baku and in the Iranian province of Ardabil, while the order to assassinate Moshe came directly from the special unit of the Iranian Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) - the Quds Force.
Israeli political analyst Ariel Kogan believes there are more serious threats coming from Tehran.
“Instead of infiltration and creation of scattered cells in the countries of the region, with the objectives of striking at Israeli targets or objects of importance for Israel, Iranian intelligence services and the Iranian Revolution Guards Corps plan to create a Hezbollah-type organization in this area,” he told i24NEWS, referring to Iran-backed militant group in Lebanon.
He pointed out that earlier in November, Sheikh Tawhid Ebrahimi, leader of the Islamist group Huseyniyyun, said “Azerbaijan and the Caucasus need the support of a full-fledged Islamic resistance organization, akin to Hezbollah.” Ebrahimi's organization was created by the IRGC from the adherents of their ideology, who fled to Iran from Azerbaijan.
“If such an organization were to be formed, then Iran’s capabilities in the region would rise to a much higher and significantly more dangerous level,” Kogan stressed.
The analyst, who is familiar with the situation in the region, added that there is a high probability that Georgian security forces coordinated their efforts with the counterintelligence services of Azerbaijan, which arrested five Iranian agents a day prior to the operation in Tbilisi.
According to the Azerbaijani Telegram channel AZfront, all of the arrested Iranian agents were providing Iran with information regarding military objects and training procedures of various Azeri military units. In addition, two agents had special reconnaissance tasks: One was tasked with tracking activities of specific embassies and consulates in Baku, while the other was collecting information on the usage of drones by the armed forces of Azerbaijan.
Given that Azeri forces use Israeli drone technology, and have recently pledged closer security and diplomatic ties with the Jewish state, Iran's operations in the region, so far unsuccessful, could pose a significant threat to Israel's security.