Russia’s Use of Iranian Airbase Over for Now: Spokesman

Russia’s Use of Iranian Airbase Over for Now: Spokesman

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi announced on Monday that Russian military jets’ use of an Iranian airbase has ended for the time being.

Speaking at a weekly press conference in Tehran, Qassemi said Russian warplanes used the Nojeh airbase near Iran’s western city of Hamedan to hit terrorist groups in Syria.

Qassemi noted that Tehran and Moscow had agreed to publicize such cooperation after the aerial operations.

He said Iran and Russia have developed strategic relations in certain areas, as in the fight against the Daesh (ISIL) terrorist group, but made it clear that Russians have not been stationed in Iran and do not have any base inside the country either.

Tehran will spare no effort to honor an agreement with Moscow on joint action against terrorism, the spokesman underlined, saying Russia has used the Iranian airspace with Tehran’s prior permission as part of counter-terrorism collaborations.

On Saturday, Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan said the Russian aircraft fly to the Iranian airbase to be either refueled or get reloaded, noting that they use the base for more effective operation against terrorist groups in Syria.

Dehqan also ruled out any plans for permitting Russian jets to use Iranian bases other than Nojeh at the moment, but said they can keep using the airbase as long as necessary.

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.

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