The Iranian defense minister, General Hossein Dehqan, signaled on Saturday that depending on operational demands Tehran may allow more air bases to service more Russian bombers and fighters, reported Tehran Times.
According to Tehran Times, Russia is currently using an air base in Hamadan, western Iran, to pound terrorist strongholds in Syria. The operations started on Tuesday as confirmed by the Russian defense ministry and the Iranian officials.
“Currently, using more air bases is off agenda, but if operational conditions demand, relevant decisions will be taken,” Hossein Deqhan said, adding that the Russian fleet will be stationing in Iran for an unspecified period.
On the services given to the Russian fleet in the Iranian air base, the minister said, “It may be the case to take care of minor repairs and even load the bombers and fighters.”
The defense minister also hailed Iran’s cooperation with Russia and described it as “strategic”, saying that this cooperation will contribute to bringing the Syrian conflict to a halt soon.
In fact, two days before the declaration of the Iranian defense minister, the Iranian Parliament Speaker, Ali Larijani, had refuted reports that Tehran allowed Russia to use an airbase in its western Hamedan region to strike positions in Syria.
“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,” Larijani said to the Iran’s state-run news agency “IRNA” last Wednesday, and confirmed that is not allowed to any foreign country to use the Iranian territories as military bases according to Article 146 of the Constitution.