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Iran gave Russian planes room for maneuver in the region — defense minister

August 25, 2016, 13:33 UTC+3 TEHRAN

According to Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan, the presence of Russian planes in Iran was temporary

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© Marina Lystseva/TASS

TEHRAN, August 25. /TASS/. Iran has given Russian combat aircraft an opportunity to maneuver in the region, Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan has told the media, when asked about the use of an Iranian air base near Hamedan by Russian planes.

"Iran has given Russian planes room for maneuver in the region. That was part of joint efforts for resistance to terrorist groups. Russian planes carried out flights (from the Iranian base) in the course of a ground operation in (in Syria). Russian combat aircraft furnished air support and played an effective role in ensuring the success of ground operations," General Dehghan said, adding that Iran remained "an active participant in the counter-terrorist operation being carried out in Syria and in the whole region."

He reiterated that "Russia does not have a military base in Iran and uses air bases in Syrian territory on the permanent basis."

"The presence of Russian planes in Iran was temporary," he said.

Russian military last week for the first time used an airdrome in Iran to deal strikes against militants in Syria. Long-range Tupolev-22M3 bombers and Sukhoi-34 planes participated in the air raids. Before, the long-range bombers operated from airdromes in Russia, and front-line bombers, from the Hmeymim base in Syria.

On August 22 Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi told a news briefing in Tehran that Russia had stopped using the air base near Hamadan for the time being.

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