Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 9
By Elmira Tariverdiyeva – Trend:
Reading the Twitter posts of one of the main agencies of the Armenian lobby in the US – the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) – one can find some flaws in education of those who write the angry posts directed against Azerbaijan, including against Trend Agency.
The tenacity, with which the Armenian lobby in the US is trying to set Israel and Azerbaijan – the two allies and strategic partners – at loggerheads, is somewhat disturbing.
By the way, ANCA has already attempted to negatively affect the relations between the two countries. Juggling with facts, ANCA has recently tried to set Azerbaijan and Israel at loggerheads in the most painful topic for the latter – the Holocaust.
That time, the provocation of the Armenian lobby received an adequate response from Trend Agency.
In this article, we will expose the recent provocative actions by ANCA regarding Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system.
A recent Twitter post urging for prohibiting the sale of Iron Dome system by Israel to Azerbaijan is a continuation of ANCA’s campaign. In late January, ANCA announced that the sale of the Israeli Iron Dome missile defense system to Azerbaijan must be checked under the US Arms Export Control.
Now the Armenian lobby has gone a step further and decided to practically force the US to exert pressure on Israel in the issue of selling the missile defense system to Azerbaijan.
ANCA's call is based on that the US and Israeli defense ministries have an agreement banning the sale of Iron Dome to third countries without each other’s consent.
The ban is based on the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), a US code governing the sale of American arms abroad.
According to one of the ITAR articles, the US has the right to veto the sale of certain types of military equipment, which may contain the US technologies, by Israel to third countries (or individuals).
It is quite obvious why the Iron Dome is covered by the agreement – though there are no American technologies in it, the Iron Dome project of Israel is financed by the US.
The US House of Representatives approved the law H.R.5327 United States-Israel Rocket and Missile Defense Cooperation and Support Act in May 2010. According to the law, the US administration is allowed to assist the Israeli government in procurement and maintenance of Iron Dome.
According to the official reports and expert estimates, the US has recently allocated several billion dollars to upgrade Iron Dome.
That money was allocated for the Israeli defense ministry to purchase Iron Dome from the Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd which developed that system.
The company is among 100 largest arms producers in the world.
Apparently, the ban on the Israeli defense ministry’s sale of Iron Dome refers directly to the batteries which were purchased through the US funds to meet Israel’s needs.
It is unlikely that the US can forbid Rafael to sell its products to other countries.
Azerbaijan’s Minister of Defense Industry Yavar Jamalov has earlier said that an agreement on the sale of Iron Dome was reached by the Ministry of Defense Industry and the respective Israeli authority.
This may have brought ANCA to conclusion that Azerbaijan will be buying the Iron Dome systems that were paid for by the US. However, it is important to know the nuances of contracts signed on Israeli weapons. The point is that Israel’s defense deals are signed at the level of government delegations, but in fact the country acts only as a guarantor for the fulfillment of obligations.
So, a contract could have been signed between defense authorities of Israel and Azerbaijan for the supply of Rafael’s products.
Unprofessional approach of the Armenian lobby in the US to any matter connected with Azerbaijan seems to be related to the fact that the Armenian diaspora is losing ground under its feet and so it is taking everything very emotionally, forgetting to deal with facts.
The ANCA members had to, at least, think about the fact that an open deal contradicting the American legislation and bilateral agreements between Israel and the US would have brought about opposition from Washington.
The fact that the US didn’t react to another hysteria of the Armenian lobby can either mean that the deal to be signed doesn’t give the US a right to impose a ban on the Iron Dome sale, or that the US gave permission to Israel for a deal.
Elmira Tariverdiyeva is the head of Trend Agency's Russian News Service