November 29 – 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 advi…ser 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.
Russian aircraft involved in airstrikes against the Daesh jihadist group last week have returned home from western Iran after successfully completing their tasks, the Russian Defense Ministry spokesman said Monday.
Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said further use of the Hamadan airfield for Russia’s anti-terrorist mission in Syria would be carried out in line with bilateral agreements with the Islamic republic and events on the ground.
“Russian military aircraft that took part in the operation of conducting airstrikes from Iran’s Hamadan air base on terrorist targets in Syria have successfully completed all the tasks. Currently, all the Aerospace Forces aircraft involved in the mission are on Russian territory,” he told reporters.
“Continued use of the Hamadan air base in the Islamic Republic of Iran by the Russian Aerospace Forces will be carried out on the basis of mutual agreements to combat terrorism and depending on the unfolding situation in Syria,” Konashenkov said.
On August 16, Russia used the Iranian base for the first time in its anti-terrorism campaign in Syria. Russian Tu-22M3 long-range bombers and Su-34 strike aircraft carried out airstrikes against the jihadist groups Daesh and the Jabhat Fatah Al-Sham, formerly known as the Nusra Front, in Syria.