Iran accuses Russia of ‘showing off' in Syria
IRAN said yesterday that Russian raids on jihadists in Syria from one of its airbases had ended for now, after accusing Moscow of “showing off” when it revealed the bombing runs.
“It was a specific, authorised mission and it’s over for now. They conducted it and they are gone now,” foreign ministry spokesperson Bahram Ghasemi told reporters in Tehran.
He left open the possibility of future Russian combat flights from the Islamic republic, saying it would depend on “the situation in the region, and according to our permission”.
The Russian ambassador to Tehran, Levan Dzhagaryan, said yesterday all Russian planes have left Iran’s air base in Hamedan but that nothing prevents them from using it again in the future.
“There are no reasons to worry. If the leaders of our two countries consider it necessary and reach the relevant agreements, what sort of problems can there be?” he told Russia’s Interfax news agency.
“For the time being, there are no [Russians] remaining in Hamedan” airbase, he added.
Mr Ghasemi’s comments came a few hours after Iranian Defence Minister Hossein Dehghan made a rare public criticism of Russia for revealing that its warplanes were using Hamedan to attack insurgents in Syria.
“Naturally, the Russians are keen to show that they are a superpower and an influential country and that they are active in security issues in the
region and the world,” Mr Dehghan told Iran’s Channel 2 television.
“There has been a kind of showingoff and inconsiderate attitude behind the announcement of this news.”
Iran and Russia are key backers of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, but Tehran remains relatively guarded about its precise involvement.
The Islamic republic is highly sensitive to any suggestion that it would allow foreign militaries to be based in its territory. –
Iranian foreign ministry spokesperson Bahram Ghasemi speaks during a press conference on August 22 in Tehran.