“Moscow and Tehran would conduct mutually beneficial cooperation and reach agreements on some specific issues soon, including the use of the Hamadan airbase by the Russian military to strike extremist groups in Syria”, Vladimir Komoedov, chairman of the Defense Committee in the State Duma, said in an interview with Izvestiya newspaper.
“An agreement between the two countries over the issue is “only a matter of time,” he said, adding that Tehran has shown through concrete actions in recent months that its partnership with Moscow is strong.
The Russian defense ministry announced on Monday that it has called back its air fleet from Western Iran after accomplishing all planned anti-terrorism missions in Syria, but meantime underlined that similar missions will be conducted from the Hamadan air base in future based on mutual agreement with Tehran.
“The Russian aerospace forces will use the Hamadan Air Base in Iran on the basis of mutual agreements with Tehran, depending on situation in Syria,” the Russian defense ministry stressed Monday afternoon after two sides confirmed halt in Russian bombers’ flight from the Nojeh Air Base in Western Iran.
The defense ministry also said the aircraft that took off from Hamadan Base in Iran to bomb targets in Syria have all accomplished their tasks successfully, adding that the air force unit that conducted combat flights from Nojeh for three consecutive days last week has now returned to Russia after fulfilling all planned missions.
Russian bombers deployed at the Iranian Air Base carried out a number of airstrikes in Syria last week, destroying a number of command centers, headquarters, arms depots and training camp of the terrorists in several provinces across the Arab country.
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qasemi had informed that Russia has stopped using Hamadan airbase for the time being.
“Russia has no base in Iran and is not stationed here. They did this [operation] and it has finished for now,” the spokesman told reporters on Monday.
Senior Russian diplomats, then, confirmed that Moscow has stopped using Iran’s Hamadan airbase for the time being, but may resume operations from there any time soon.
“Moscow sees no obstacles to the further use of Iranian infrastructure, including the air base in Hamadan, for strikes against terrorists in Syria,” Russian Ambassador to Tehran Levan Djagaryan told Interfax on Monday.
The Russian envoy also confirmed the halt, but underlined that the agreement between the two sides to further the operation from the Hamadan air base is still in place and Russian flights from there might resume soon.
“The Russian aerospace forces may resume operations from Iranian base Hamadan when it is expedient, and by the decision of leaders of Russian and Iran,” Levan Djagaryan said.
“All the Russian military have currently left Iran’s Hamadan Air Base,” he added.
The ambassador announced that Moscow hopes Russia and Iran will strengthen interaction in Syria settlement process.
“Interaction with Tehran on Syria has positive perspective,” the Russian official stressed.
Long-range Russian bombers used Nojeh Airbase, near the city of Hamedan in Northwest Iran, to launch the airstrikes against the terrorist groups in Syria for three days last week.
The Iranian spokesman also underlined the strategic ties between Tehran and Moscow, and said both countries share the same views over war on ISIL and terrorism in the region.
“Relations between Iran and Russia are strategic,” Qassemi told reporters in a press conference in Tehran on Monday.
“Iran and Russia enjoy similar views over campaign against the ISIL and terrorism in the region and security is important to us and we don’t spare any efforts to maintain the country’s security,” he added.
Referring to the Russian fighter jets’ use of an airbase in Western Iran for anti-terrorism flights in Syria, Qassemi said, “Russia’s presence in Iran was temporary and was a result of coordination, and they neither have any base nor been deployed in Iran.”
Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani announced that the Russian airplanes which flew from the Western Iranian airbase of Nojeh for anti-terrorism operations in Syria last week returned home on Thursday after ending the first phase of their mission successfully.
“The Russian warplanes were not due to stay at Hamadan airbase, rather they were planned to fly from the airbase from Tuesday to Thursday (last week) and leave. The planes didn’t leave yesterday; (as a matter of fact) they left on Thursday based on the ground operations’ plans,” Shamkhani said in an interview with the state-run TV on Tuesday.
He dismissed foreign pressures as the reason behind the Russian fighter jets’ leaving the Iranian territories, and said, “Today, Iran has allied with Russia given its need to cooperation with powerful Russia and resistance front to confront the Takfiri plots and it is using Russia’s capabilities in air operations alongside the ground operations whose planners and military advisors are from Iran and it is a sign of might and not dependence.”
Shamkhani added that this has been the Iranian military advisors who had demanded Russian air force backup to render logistical support for ground operations in Aleppo.
He dismissed certain imprecise views on anti-terrorism cooperation between Tehran and Moscow, and said, “The all-out relations between Iran and Russia which are based on the national interests and within the framework of strategic cooperation are not merely limited to the fight against terrorism and have more extensive aspects.”