No Iranian Military Base at Russia’s Disposal: Speaker Larijani
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani denied reports that Iran has made a military base available for the Russian forces, stressing that none of the Iranian bases is at disposal of any foreign country.
Speaking at an open session of the parliament on Wednesday morning, Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, a member of the national security and foreign policy commission, took the podium to voice outrage at reports of Russian bomber jets using one of Iran’s western airbases for flying to Syria.
The lawmaker referred to Article 176 of the constitution, and said the deployment of Russian warplanes to the Noje Airbase near the city of Hamedan violates the constitution.
He also criticized Russia’s inconsistent foreign policy over the past years, saying all powers just care about their own interests in their foreign policies and have proved to be against Iran whenever the country has faced a challenge.
In reply, Ali Larijani underscored that “no base has been given to the Russian military forces.”
The speaker noted that Tehran and Moscow work in cooperation to settle the regional problems, particularly in Syria, but Iran has not made any base available for the Russians.
The comments came after media reports that Russia has used an airbase in Iran’s western city of Hamedan to launch airstrikes against terrorists in Syria using long-range Tupolev-22M3 bombers and Sukhoi-34 fighter bombers.
On Tuesday, Russia's Rossiya 24 channel also broadcast uncaptioned images of at least three Tupolev-22M3 bombers and a Russian military transport plane inside Iran. It said the Iranian deployment would allow the Russian air force to cut flight times by 60 percent.
Later in the day, Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani said that Tehran and Moscow have developed a strategic partnership in the war on terrorism in Syria, saying they share “capacities and facilities” in the anti-terrorism campaign.
Syria has been gripped by civil war since March 2011 with various terrorist groups, including Daesh (also known as ISIS or ISIL), currently controlling parts of it.
Meanwhile, Russia’s aerial support for the Syrian forces since September 2015 has given fresh impetus to the fight against the foreign-backed terrorists.
Iran has also remained a close ally of Syria and supports its legitimate government in the face of militancy.