17:33 GMT +325 May 2018
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    Russian Tupolev Tu-22M3 long-range bomber landing at an air base near the Iranian city of Hamadan

    Iran Ready to Allow Russian Jets to Use Hamadan Base for 'Takeoff and Refueling'

    © REUTERS / Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation
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    Last week, Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan said that Tehran could allow Russia's use of the Noje Airbase in Hamadan for the aerial campaign against terrorists in Syria if the situation demanded it.

    If the situation and conditions [in Syria] demand to provide the support, we will do this job," Dehghan said.

    In an interview with Sputnik Persian, Hossein Sheikholeslam, an adviser to the Iranian foreign minister, commented on the possible option for the Russian Aerospace Forces at the Hamadan airfield.

    "I’d like to emphasize that Iran never gave to Russia full control over the Noje base in Hamadan. This airbase belongs to Iran and all activities at the base are controlled by Tehran," Sheikholeslam said.

    In mid-August, Iran already allowed Russian jets to operate from a base in the Hamadan province. The jets returned to Russia a week later, after completing their counterterrorism mission, which targeted jihadists in Syria.

    According to Sheikholeslam, all operations by Russian aviation in Hamadan were controlled by Tehran.

    "Tehran never gave full control over the airfield to any foreign country. This would contradict the country’s constitution," the adviser added.

    The use of the Hamadan airfield by the Russian aviation in August was the first time when Iranian territory had been used by foreign military forces since 1946.

    As for the possible use of the Hamadan airbase by Russia again, Sheikholeslam underscored that "if needed the issue will be agreed with Moscow."

    "If the situation demands it, like it was in August, we’re ready to allow Russian warplanes to take off and refuel at this airfield," he pointed out.

    The Russian Aerospace Forces may need to use the Hamadan airbase if the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft-carrying cruiser deployed to the Mediterranean is far from the Syrian coast and cannot be used for airstrikes, said Viktor Ozerov, head of the Defense and Security Committee of the upper house of the Russian parliament.

    Related:

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    Iran Could Allow Russia to Use Hamadan Base If Necessary for Syrian Operation
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    Iranian Presidential Aide Welcomes Russia’s Use of Hamadan Air Base
    Tags:
    Hamadan airbase, Syria, Russia, Iran
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