During official visit to Azerbaijan, defense minister Yoav Gallant accuses Tehran of leading ‘worldwide terror campaign’ against Israeli and Jewish targets
Pictured: Iranian sponsored
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Israel and allied nations foiled more than 50 attacks Iran had attempted to carry out against Israelis and Jews across the world in recent years, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said during a visit to Azerbaijan on Thursday.
Iran has been engaged in a shadow war with Israel for years, with Tehran accusing Jerusalem of being behind a series of sabotage attacks and assassinations targeting its nuclear program, carried out alongside the US. Israel in turn, has mutually accused Iran of attempting to target Israelis and Jews abroad, as well as numerous cyberattacks against the Jewish state.
“In recent years, Iran has been leading a worldwide terror campaign, with unprecedented scope, targeting Israelis and Jews around the world,” Gallant told reporters during an official trip to Azerbaijan.
“There have been more than 50 attempted attacks in recent years. Most of them were ready to go, and were foiled at the last moment,” he said.
“Thanks to our defense establishment, thanks to close cooperation with many countries, and thanks to the understanding that Iran is a global threat, we foiled these attempts and saved lives,” Gallant added.
Earlier on Thursday, Gallant met with Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev in Baku, as he began his two-day visit signifying the burgeoning relationship between the two countries.
Gallant and Aliyev discussed recent regional and global events, as well as ways to boost strategic ties and cooperation against shared challenges, the defense minister’s office said in a statement.
“In this regard, they also touched on areas of security and industrial cooperation,” the readout said. “Minister Gallant expressed his appreciation to the President for his leadership and personal commitment to deepening the bond between their countries, starting with the opening of the Azerbaijani embassy in Israel.”
“The discussion built on the previous meeting held between the leaders this year, within the framework of the Munich Security Conference,” the statement added.
Gallant later met with Azerbaijan’s defense minister, Col. Gen. Zakir Hasanov; State Border Service chief Col. Gen. Elchin Guliyev; and other senior defense officials.
He was accompanied by his chief of staff, Shachar Katz; military secretary Brig. Gen. Guy Markizeno; and the director of the ministry’s Political-Military Bureau, Dror Shalom.
According to a Defense Ministry statement on Wednesday, the visit was to focus on bolstering strategic ties in “diplomacy, security, and technology.”
Gallant’s arrival came two days after Baku announced it had arrested a 23-year-old Afghan national on suspicion of planning an attack on Israel’s embassy.
Israel is in the midst of a very public expansion of bilateral ties with Azerbaijan, a Shiite-majority country closely allied with Turkey that has seen its partnership with the Jewish state flourish.