Skip to main content

Iranian Foreign Ministry: Russian use of air base has ended

A spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry said that Russia’s use of Hamedan air base has ended for now and discussed the potential for Russian, Iranian and Turkish cooperation in the region.
Russian Sukhoi Su-34 fighter-bombers fly in formation during the Victory Day parade, marking the 71st anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two, above Red Square in Moscow, Russia, May 9, 2016. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov - RTX2DM3X

Russia’s use of an air base in western Iran to launch attacks inside Syria has come to an end for now, according to Iranian officials.

Russia became the first foreign military since World War II to use Iranian soil to launch a military attack last week when long-range Tupolev-22M and Sukhoi Su-34 bombers took off from Hamedan air base. The news, which was first revealed by Russian officials, led to a great deal of commentary both internationally and domestically. A number of Iranian parliamentarians had raised objections, arguing the military influences of superpowers in Iran have had a damaging impact on the country and that the establishment of a foreign military base is against Iran’s constitution.

In an Aug. 22 news conference, Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi tried to allay those fears. “Regarding the situation with Russia, what was done was a temporary act and coordinated,” said Ghasemi. “I must emphasize that Russia neither has a base in Iran nor is it stationed here. It was temporary, and it has ended for the time being.” 

In response to a reporter’s question about why the news was first announced by the Russians, Ghasemi said both Iran and Russia had agreed they would announce the operation at the same time but added that possibly due to the time difference Russia announced it first. However, he said that Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of Iran’s National Security Council, immediately confirmed the news shortly after. He added that the announcement was “nearly simultaneous.”

In an interview earlier, Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan criticized the Russian announcement regarding the use of the Hamedan air base. Dehghan believes the Russians did this because they wanted to show they are a military superpower and they wanted to use it as leverage in negotiations with the United States in order to secure their influence over the political future of Syria. 

Dehghan also rejected any type of Russian military base in Iran, adding that the use of Hamedan was for a “very short, clear period and linked to operations in Syria.”

During the press conference, Ghasemi also addressed Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif’s recent trip to Turkey. He said that Iran and Turkey have “difference of views” over Syria and that they do not expect a few meetings to resolve the differences. He said that both countries are influential in the region and share a border and it is better for them to cooperate. However, he added that neither country is interested in dictating its positions to the other country.

Ghasemi said that Iran welcomes the improved relationship between Turkey and Russia. On the possibility of a Turkish, Russian and Iranian axis in Syria, Ghasemi said it is “too early” to discuss such a formation. He added that Russia and Turkey are still trying to restore their ties to what they were before the downing of a Russian jet at the Syrian-Turkish border last fall. He also said that Iran, Turkey and Russia have different concerns and points of views on various issues in the region. For example, he said, the Russians do not share a border with the Kurds and therefore have different considerations. He added that while the three countries are holding consultations and meetings, it is not possible to predict where they will end.

Join hundreds of Middle East professionals with Al-Monitor PRO.

Business and policy professionals use PRO to monitor the regional economy and improve their reports, memos and presentations. Try it for free and cancel anytime.

Already a Member? Sign in

Free

The Middle East's Best Newsletters

Join over 50,000 readers who access our journalists dedicated newsletters, covering the top political, security, business and tech issues across the region each week.
Delivered straight to your inbox.

Free

What's included:
Our Expertise

Free newsletters available:

  • The Takeaway & Week in Review
  • Middle East Minute (AM)
  • Daily Briefing (PM)
  • Business & Tech Briefing
  • Security Briefing
  • Gulf Briefing
  • Israel Briefing
  • Palestine Briefing
  • Turkey Briefing
  • Iraq Briefing
Expert

Premium Membership

Join the Middle East's most notable experts for premium memos, trend reports, live video Q&A, and intimate in-person events, each detailing exclusive insights on business and geopolitical trends shaping the region.

$25.00 / month
billed annually

Become Member Start with 1-week free trial
What's included:
Our Expertise AI-driven

Memos - premium analytical writing: actionable insights on markets and geopolitics.

Live Video Q&A - Hear from our top journalists and regional experts.

Special Events - Intimate in-person events with business & political VIPs.

Trend Reports - Deep dive analysis on market updates.

All premium Industry Newsletters - Monitor the Middle East's most important industries. Prioritize your target industries for weekly review:

  • Capital Markets & Private Equity
  • Venture Capital & Startups
  • Green Energy
  • Supply Chain
  • Sustainable Development
  • Leading Edge Technology
  • Oil & Gas
  • Real Estate & Construction
  • Banking

We also offer team plans. Please send an email to pro.support@al-monitor.com and we'll onboard your team.

Already a Member? Sign in

The Middle East in your inbox Insights in your inbox.

Deepen your knowledge of the Middle East

Trend Reports

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (4th R) attends a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping (3rd L) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on February 22, 2019. (Photo by HOW HWEE YOUNG / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read HOW HWEE YOUNG/AFP via Getty Images)
Premium

From roads to routers: The future of China-Middle East connectivity

A general view shows the solar plant in Uyayna, north of Riyadh, on March 29, 2018. - On March 27, Saudi announced a deal with Japan's SoftBank to build the world's biggest solar plant. (Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE / AFP) (Photo credit should read FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP via Getty Images)
Premium

Regulations on Middle East renewable energy industry starting to take shape

Start your PRO membership today.

Join the Middle East's top business and policy professionals to access exclusive PRO insights today.

Join Al-Monitor PRO Start with 1-week free trial