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Larijani: No Russian Military Base in Iran | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A still image taken from video footage and released by Russia’s defense ministry on August 11, 2016, shows a Russian bomber dropping off bombs at an unknown location in Syria. Reuters

London, Moscow- Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani denied that Russia has a permanent military base in the Islamic Republic following comments made by Iranian MP Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh that the deployment of foreign military forces inside the country is unconstitutional.

Falahatpisheh warned that Russia has a “turbulent foreign policy” and its own “strategic and foreign policy considerations.”

“Under Article 146 of the Constitution, the establishment of any foreign military base inside the country is banned, and it is worth mentioning that Iran has not given such a base to any country,” Larijani said.

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.

Former Iranian foreign minister and adviser to Supreme leader Ali Khamenei Ali Akbar Velayati said that the current military cooperation between Iran and Russia falls under the new Iranian vision of the East.

Russian officials, however, admitted that the purpose is to reduce expenses and avoid military risks during an air operation that seeks supporting the Syrian regime forces, Iranians and the so-called Hezbollah.

In the same context, a reliable Russian military source said that setting up a Russian military base in Iran will permit targeting the sites quickly, adding that Russian airstrikes foiled an attack by fighters near Aleppo.

The Russian dilemma is no more restricted to the failure of regime forces and allies to survive without a constant Russian air cover but extends to concerns over the rising cost of the military campaign in Syria.