Iran: Russia may continue to use Iranian airbase for Syria strikes

Russian bombers may continue to use an airbase in Iran's western Hamadan province to conduct strikes in nearby Syria, the speaker of Iran's parliament said Tuesday, following a temporary halt on Russian use of the base.

"The flights of Russian jets from Hamadan have not been stopped," Ali Larijani said in comments carried by several Iranian news agencies.

Larijani emphasized that the base is only a refueling point for the Russian planes as part of a collaboration in the fight against terrorism.

Iran's constitution does not approve of letting foreign powers use Iranian military facilities. Russia's use of the airbase last week was the first time in more than 70 years that Iran made such an allowance.

On Monday, Iran's Foreign Ministry announced that the country would "temporarily suspend" Russian warplanes from using the base.

Iran's Defence Minister Hossein Dehghan hinted that the agreement was jeopardized by Russia publicizing its use of the base.

Dehghan criticized Russia for "not having kept its promise" when it revealed it was using the base.

The operations were strategically necessary, but Iran and Russia had agreed not to make them public, Dehghan said.

Last update: Tue, 23/08/2016 - 12:27

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