Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani has refuted allegations that Tehran allowed Russia to use an airbase in its western Hamedan region to strike positions in Syria, reported IRNA, Iran’s state-run news agency on Wednesday .
He also rejected reports claiming that Iran reserved one of its military bases for Russia, recalling the existence of a law that bans all foreign presence on military bases.
“Iran cooperates with Russia, as its ally, on regional issues like Syria. That cooperation does not mean that we have allocated our military base to Russia.” said Larijani.
Other Iranian officials, including SNSC Secretary Ali Shamkhani, have backed the decision, seeing it as an indication of a strategic alliance between Tehran and Moscow.
Iran and Russia “enjoy strategic cooperation in the fight against terrorism in Syria, and share their facilities and capacities to this end,” Shamkhani told Tehran Times.
According to Article 146 of the Constitution, “the establishment of any foreign military base inside the country is banned, and it is worth mentioning that Iran has not given such a base to any country”.
In fact, Iran had already opened its airspace to Russian fighters as well as missiles fired from its Caspian Sea flotilla in October 2015, when four Russian warships launched a total of 26 Kalibr cruise missiles from the Caspian Sea, training on target in Syria, according to Tehran Times.
However, it’s the first time that Iran cooperates with Russia in such a capacity, acting as a springboard for the Russian air force to operate more efficiently in its war on terrorism.