In January this year, a plot to assassinate the Israeli Ambassador to Azerbaijan and attack a Jewish school was exposed. Three weeks later, a magnetic bomb headed to the Israeli Embassy in Georgia (Azerbaijan's neighbor to the west), was defused. In the middle of February, Iran accused Azerbaijan of collaborating with Israel spy services to assassinate nuclear scientists in Iran. Earlier this week, an Iranian helicopter was accused of violating Azerbaijan airspace (although, I'm reading conflicting reports about this) and on the 23rd, hackers from Iran were said to have hacked the website for Azerbaijan's National State Television station. Recent arrests were made in Azerbaijan of individuals working for the Islamic Republic of Iranian Broadcasting (IRIB). This prompted a strongly worded letter from the Iranian Embassy in Baku, warning that the move by Azerbaijan would "ruin the calm atmosphere of media relations between Iran and Azerbaijan and lead to an 'uncontrollable' media reaction."
NPR recently reported on Azerbaijan's ties to the West and speculated Azerbaijan would most likely align itself with Israel should a war break out, but also acknowledged the difficulty this would present if attacks were made by Israel on Northern Iran, home to thousands of ethnic Azeris. It would seem Azerbaijan's best interests would be served, with stakes in both Iran and Israel, to remain as Turkey did during World War II and stay politically neutral; based on the information available, however, they seem to be leaning elsewhere.
So what does this mean for PCVs serving in Azerbaijan as tensions deepen? We receive updates from our Country Director and we're asked to remain vigilant in our actions as it pertains to our safety and security. We're sent updates as needed. I think we're well cared for and well informed. There are plans in place should they be needed (and it is always the hope that they're not needed) to ensure the safety of volunteers should we need to leave the country.
I must say it's certainly an interesting country to be serving in, considering the current political situation, but it's also intriguing to be in the midst of a worldwide and politically charged situation. I do a lot of reading and try to keep up to date with all the information available, what more can anyone do?