Iran Hasn’t Put Its Airbase at Russia’s Disposal: Parliament Speaker

Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani on Wednesday dismissed the media reports about Russia’s use of an Iranian airbase to attack ISIS positions in Syria.

According to a report by Tasnim, as translated by IFP, Larijani emphasized that no base has been put at Russian troops’ disposal.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran cooperates with Russia in regional issues, particularly on Syria, but it has not given them any [military] base,” Larijani said during an open session of the Iranian Parliament on August 17.

He further categorically rejected the earlier media reports about the issue.

He made the remarks in reaction to an objection raised by Iranian lawmaker Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh who slammed the deployment of Russian forces to Iran’s Nojeh airbase in Hamadan as being against the Article 176 of Iran’s Constitution.

Falahatpisheh, who is a member of Iranian Parliament’s Foreign Policy and National Security Commission, said, “Moscow has shown in recent years that it has a volatile and different foreign policy.”

“World powers have their own considerations in foreign policy, and it has been proved that whenever the Islamic Republic is faced with a crisis, world powers are against our country,” he noted.

Larijani’s reaction came as Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani had earlier implicitly confirmed the Russia’s use of Iran’s airbase.

In an interview with IRNA right after the media reports about Iran-Russia collaboration, Shamkhani announced that Tehran and Moscow share their potentials and resources with each other as part of a strategic partnership developed between the two sides in the ongoing campaign against terrorism in Syria.

“Cooperation between Iran and Russia in fighting terrorism in Syria is strategic and we exchange potentials and facilities,” IRNA quoted Shamkhani as saying when asked about Russia’s use of Iran’s air base.

“With the constructive and broad cooperation among Iran, Russia, Syria and the Resistance Front, the conditions have become so harsh for the terrorists,” Shamkhani said.

The trilateral cooperation will continue with “new and extensive operations” until militants are “annihilated,” he said.

The remarks came after Russia’s Ministry of Defence announced on Tuesday, August 16, that it had deployed Tu-22M3 bombers and Su-34 strike fighters to Iran and these have already carried out airstrikes against terrorists in Syria.

“On August 16, 2016, Tu-23M3 long-range bombers and Su-34 bombers, having taken off from their base in Hamadan [Islamic Republic of Iran], carried out group airstrikes against targets belonging to the ISIS and Nusra Front terrorist groups in the provinces of Aleppo, Deir ez-Zor and Idlib,” the ministry said in a statement, as cited by Sputnik.

Iran and Russia, known as the main allies of Syria, have been looking for a solution to a crisis that has plagued the Arab country for years.