Off-the-record conversations, stories attributed to agenda-driven anonymous sources and leaks are nothing new. But something exceptionally outrageous happened last week when an article by Mark Perry was published in Foreign Policy, disclosing an alleged secret deal between Israel and Azerbaijan to enable potential airstrikes on Iran.
“The Israelis have bought an airfield and that airfield is called Azerbaijan,” Perry recounts a “senior administration official” as telling him in early February. A total of “four senior diplomats and military officials” confirmed the story to Perry.
One of the major problems facing Israel is that its aircraft would have to fly a long distance to Iran and back. That requires complicated and risky mid-air refueling. If the aircraft can land in Azerbaijan after striking their targets, then this makes an aerial campaign much more feasible.
One source for his story, a U.S. intelligence officer, said, “…we’re watching what Israel is doing in Azerbaijan. And we’re not happy about it.”
The reason they aren’t happy about it is because the administration is opposed to an Israeli strike on Iran. These officials knew Perry was talking to them for a reason: To break the story. It’s one thing to disagree with a U.S. ally. It’s another thing to endanger the ally as a form of coercion. And that’s exactly what happened.