Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani says neither Russia nor any other countries have a permanent military base in the Islamic Republic.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran has not put any military bases at the disposal of Russia or other countries,” Larijani said on Wednesday.
He made the remarks in response to comments made by Iranian MP Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, who had said the deployment of any foreign military forces inside the country was unconstitutional.
“Under Article 146 of the Constitution, the establishment of any foreign military base inside the country is forbidden, and it is worth mentioning that Iran has not given such a base to any country,” Larijani said.
The top parliamentarian, however, said cooperation would continue between Tehran and Moscow on regional issues, including Syria and Yemen and the fight against terrorism.
“Our cooperating with Russia on regional issues such as Syria does not mean that we have given a military base to Russia,” Larijani said.
Russia’s Defense Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday that it had used a base in western Iran to carry out airstrikes in Syria.
The ministry said that Tupolev-22M3 long-range bombers and Sukhoi-34 strike fighters took off from an airbase near the city of Hamedan and struck targets in three provinces in northern and eastern Syria.
The Russian Defense Ministry also announced a new wave of airstrikes out of Iran against targets in the east of Syria on Wednesday.
Russian fighters filling up in Iran base
Meanwhile, senior Iranian lawmaker Alaeddin Boroujerdi told reporters on Wednesday that Russia’s use of the Nojeh air base near Hamedan for refueling was approved by Iran’s Supreme National Security Council.
Boroujerdi, who is the chairman of the Iranian parliament’s Committee on National Security and Foreign Policy, said that the move was part of Iran’s cooperation with Russia, Syria and Iraq against terrorism.
He noted that the move was not against Iran’s Constitution as “no Russian jets have been deployed in the airbase.”
Russia defends anti-terror cooperation with Iran
Meanwhile, Russia has defended its use of Iranian military bases for airstrikes against terrorists in Syria.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday that the move did not violate a UN resolution on Iran that prohibits the supply, sale and transfer of combat aircraft to Iran unless approved by the Security Council.
“In the case we’re discussing there has been no supply, sale or transfer of fighter jets to Iran,” Lavrov told a news conference, saying, “The Russian Air Force uses these fighter jets with Iran’s approval in order to take part in the counter-terrorism operation” in Syria.
Iran and Russia have been assisting the Syrian government in its fight against foreign-backed terrorist groups, including the Daesh Takfiri terrorists.
Russia has been conducting airstrikes against Daesh and other terrorist groups in Syria at the Syrian government’s request since September 2015.
Iran has also been providing advisory assistance to the Syrian government.