Azerbaijan as an arena for Iranian terrorism and subversion

Weapons transferred to an Azeri terrorist cell handled by Iran. Its objective was to assassinate two Jews, Chabad representatives, in Baku in January 2012.
Weapons transferred to an Azeri terrorist cell handled by Iran. Its objective was to assassinate two Jews, Chabad representatives, in Baku in January 2012. The sniper rifle, center, manufactured in Iran, was fitted with a silencer and meant to be used to shoot the targets (YouTube from AZTV, February 1, 2012).


1. On October 11, 2012, the Azeri media reported that a court in Baku had convicted 22 members of a terrorist network handled by the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). They were found guilty of conspiring to carry out terrorist attacks on Israeli, American and Western targets. The affair joined the series of foiled attempts to attack Israeli and Jewish targets: the Israeli embassy in Baku in May 2008, Jewish targets in January 2012 and Eurovision participants in May 2012.

2. Since its founding on October 18, 1991, Azerbaijan has been a preferred arena for Iranian terrorist and subversive activities. Iranian objectives have been to fashion Azerbaijan's social and political characterand to settle accounts with those Iran regards as its enemies, principally Israel, the Jewish people, the United States and the West. The attacks carried out by Iran on Azeri soil provide Iran with a response to what it perceives as the clandestine campaign waged against it by Israel and the West. In particular, the attacks in recent years are retaliation for the killings of Iranian nuclear scientists and senior Hezbollah commander Imad Mughnieh, attributed by Iran and Hezbollah to Israel.

3. The central Iranian agent directing terrorist and subversive activities in Azerbaijan is the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC-QF), which spearheads Iranian-initiated terrorism and subversion throughout the world.[1] Like other Iranian governmental apparatuses involved in terrorism and subversion, the Quds Force employs local Azeri supportersas well as Hezbollah in Lebanon, Iran's preferred proxy for terrorism and subversion. To further their terrorist and subversive activities in Azerbaijan, the Iranians send their proxies large amounts of money, designated weapons (firearms with silencers, explosives), and the technical training for using the weapons.

4. Iran has been active in terrorism in Azerbaijan since its founding in the following areas:

1) Orchestrating terrorist attacks against Israeli and Jewish targets using Azeri operatives or handling LebaneseHezbollah operatives in Azerbaijan.

2) Subverting the Azeri regime in various ways, including Iranian support for radical Islamic organizations and local separatist groups.

3) Exporting the ideology of the Iranian Islamic Revolution to Azerbaijan through the foundation of cultural institutions, mosques and charitable societies (as Iran does within the Shi'ite populations of other countries).

4) Encouraging profitable criminal activities in Azeri territory to fill the coffers of the IRGC and circumvent the sanctions imposed on Iran.

5. This document contains four Appendices which examine and analyze Iran's terrorist and subversive activities in Azerbaijan, as follows: terrorist attacks on Israeli/Jewish and Western targets, terrorism and subversion of the Azeri regime, exporting Iranian ideology and encouraging profitable criminal activities is Azerbaijan.

[1] For further information about the Qods Force's activities, see the August 7, 2012 bulletin "The Quds Force, an elite unit of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, spearheads Iran's global terrorist campaign."