Tehran stops Russia using Iranian air base “for time being”

In the first sign of dissent between Tehran and Moscow, the Iranian foreign ministry announced Monday that Russia has stopped using the Iranian Nojeh air base near Hamedan, just a week after the first Russian Tupolev-22M3 bombers and Sukhoi-34 fighter bombers flew air strikes from there against Syria. No comment has come from Moscow.

Spokesman Bahram Ghasemi told reporters that the Russian air strikes in Syria were "temporary, based on a Russian request." He also said the strikes were carried out with "mutual understanding and with Iran's permission" and that the Russian mission "is finished, for now."

He reiterated that Russia "has no base in Iran."

The Russian deployment prompted criticism in the Iranian parliament on the grounds that permission for a foreign power to use an Iranian base for the first time since World War II violated the Islamic Republic’s constitution. Moscow was sharply castigated by Iran’s Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan for “showing off” the move and ”betrayal of trust.”

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