Iranian international affairs expert Mostafa Khoshcheshm said in an October 2, 2021 interview on Ofogh TV (Iran) that Azerbaijan only survived its late-20th-century conflict with Armenia thanks to the intervention of Iran's IRGC and the Qods Force. He said that nowadays, Israel is collaborating with Turkey to attack Iran through Azerbaijan, and that many Israeli "terror" operations against Iran were launched from Azerbaijan, including assassinations and the 2018 operation in which Mossad agents stole thousands of documents from Iran's nuclear archives.
Khoshcheshm also said that Iran and its resistance axis have been fighting the presence of the Mossad and the IDF in Kurdistan and other parts of the Middle East, and claimed that IDF Colonel Sharon Asman, who died in July 2021 during a fitness exercise, had actually been assassinated in an Iranian drone strike against Mossad headquarters in Kurdistan. In addition, Khoshcheshm said that Iran will not tolerate the presence of Salafi groups along the Iran-Azerbaijan border, any form of Israeli presence near Iranian territory, or any change in its borders with Azerbaijan. For more information about Mostafa Khoshcheshm, see MEMRI TV clip no 9039.
Mostafa Khoshcheshm: "When the USSR collapsed and war broke out [between Armenia and Azerbaijan], Armenia reached a point... if it weren't for Iran... I am not talking about political Iran or the government – I'm talking about the powerful, military Iran, with its armed forces... Some people might become offended when they hear me say this. If it weren't for Qods Force and the IRGC, Armenia would have left nothing of Azerbaijan. The [Armenian] tanks were advancing very fast. Who stopped them back then?
"Do not look at today's Azerbaijan, After Israel has given it a few drones and some other things, and it is enjoying the protection of the CIA and Turkey, while Armenia is being boycotted. There was a time when the Armenians were better equipped, and their tanks were advancing very fast. It was the big brother, Iran, that stopped them.
"The Israelis started talks with the Turks, and said to them: 'You are Iran's rivals and we are Iran's enemies. We have a shared interest here. Let's work together. This is how they persuaded them. They knew what Erdogan was looking for, and that he is a businessman, not a man motivated by ideology. They used him to rile up Azerbaijan and make it work more with Israel.
"In those years, [the Israelis] started with the economy, investments, energy, gas and oil resources, and slowly, they entered military affairs. Then, they took over a military base. From that base, drones have reached Iran many times, for terror and reconnaissance missions. One of their Hermes UAVs came close to Natanz. It was published a few years ago. We hit it.
"Operations by terror teams... Hitmen who came to carry out terror operations infiltrated Iran from [Azerbaijan]. In other words, they were allowed to pass through. In addition, the  operation in which [Israel] stole out nuclear documents was carried out through this route.
"The number one enemy of this country is the Zionist regime, whose national security doctrine includes the weakening and destruction of the Islamic Republic of Iran. It is trying to cause us a lot of trouble in our neighboring countries, including the expansion of their activity in [Iraqi] Kurdistan. The Mossad maintains branches, watchtowers, radio towers, and centers for training and recruitment.
"Allah be praised, the resistance axis attacked two of their centers a few months ago. In one case, the attack was carried out by three UAVs, and in this case, Colonel Sharon Asman was killed. He was one of the people involved in the assassination of Hajj Qasem [Soleimani] and he has been dispatched to the Hellfire. They could not conceal his death, so they said he died of a heart attack during training in Israel. But this wasn't so. He was in [Kurdistan] and was killed in that attack. Three Israeli servicemen were killed in the attack on the Mossad headquarters, and he was one of them.
"They are trying to push the Kurds to a referendum again, thinking that it is possible, now that Hajj Qasem is gone. This is why they are inciting the Kurds.
"Azerbaijan is well aware that tensions with us are not good for it at all. There are [even] people who talked about war.
"First of all, it will not lead to war, but as one friend said, our Ashura Division is sufficient. In fact, you don't even need the Ashura Division. Four or five thousand precision-guided missiles will suffice. Believe me, we are not talking about war. Why not? Azerbaijan knows it is not [an equal] rival in this fight.
"The gentlemen in Baku – Mr. Aliyev and his security advisers in particular – need to realize that the Islamic Republic of Iran does not accept the presence of the takfiri-Salafis across its borders, the loss of the [land] corridor, any change in geographical boundaries in this way or any other form, or the presence of Israel – even if it is only an economic presence – close to its borders. We do not dictate to anyone with whom they may or may not live, but you have no right to approach our borders."