On Saturday, a senior Iranian parliamentarian said that Russia’s military cooperation with Iran over the Syrian crisis had the blessing of Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Commenting on the announcement, one Iranian political analyst told Sputnik that it might mean that Russia could return to the Iranian base.
Stressing that Iran has not committed its military facilities to any country in the world, Masoud Pezeshkian, first deputy speaker of the Majlis, the Iranian parliament, said that military cooperation between Russia and Iran was impossible without the Supreme leader’s permission.
Speaking to a reporter, Pezeshkian pointed out that Majlis’ presiding board has not held a meeting on Iran and Russia’s military cooperation at the Nojeh base in Hamadan province, since such political and security issues are related to the Supreme National Security Council and the leader. Commenting on the announcement, Iranian political analyst and expert in Russian-Iranian relations Mostafa Azeriyan told Sputnik Persian he has no doubts that Russia could resume the use of the Iranian military base for its air campaign in Syria.
“There is no doubt that Iran will provide its air bases for refueling and further combat sorties of Russian Airspace Forces,” the expert told Sputnik. Azeriyan further explained that Moscow and Tehran have one common goal towards Damascus, and that is the elimination of terrorists, the prevention of their spread into other Middle Eastern and Central Asian countries and other regions. “It is also important to look at the tactical side of the issue,” the expert said. “Iranian military advisers, who are participating in anti-terrorist operations in Syria, require reliable aerial support. And Russian bombers can provide this support,” he further said.
Another important issue, he said, is that Nojeh base in Hamadan has not committed its military facilities to any country in the world. However, many analysts, predominantly in the western mass media, mistakenly claimed that the flights of the Russian jets violated the constitution of the Islamic Republic.
This is not the case, he said. The airfield in Hamadan is a “launch base” for the Russian Air Forces, a prestrike staging base. Besides, Masoud Pezeshkian has made it clear that Russian jets had used it for refueling, take-off and landing but not for permanent stationing. Thus the expert suggested that in the nearest future the military cooperation between Moscow and Tehran over the Syrian crisis will strengthen and expand, especially taking into consideration the growing tension over the regional crises.