Monday, August 22, 2016

New Developments on Russia's Use of Iran's Hamadan Airbase

New Developments on Russia’s Use of Iran’s Hamadan Airbase

by Stephen Lendman

Days earlier, Iran’s Defense Minister Hossein Dehqhan gave Russia permission to use its Hamadan airbase against terrorists in Syria as long as needed.

“The decision will remain in place until there is no need in it,” he said. “Reception of Russian aircraft at the airbase in Hamadan is carried out in the framework of mutual cooperation and the fight against terrorism at the request of the Syrian government,” he explained.

For several days last week, Russia conducted large-scale strikes on ISIS and Nusra Front from the facility - destroying six command and control centers, five depots storing weapons, munitions and fuel, along with military equipment, causing heavy casualties at the same time.

On August 22, Tass reported Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi, saying Russia temporarily ceased aerial missions from Iran’s base. They’ve stopped “for now,” adding:

“We have a number of agreements with Russia on conducting joint (anti-terrorist) operations. One such agreement envisages the possibility that Iran may grant Russia use of its airspace and infrastructures to fight terrorism in Syria.” 

“Russia and Iran stand closely on the issue of fighting terrorism and the Islamic State. The situation in the region is a very sensitive one. Iran’s own security depends on it and it is of paramount importance to us.”

Pause doesn’t mean cessation of Russian aerial operations from Iranian territory. Daily intelligence assessments by both countries decide on tactics to be used.

Operations could resume whenever both countries agree it’s strategically important. Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman was quoted saying “Russia has no base in Iran and is not stationed here. They did this (operation) and it is finished for now.”

Defense Minister Dehghan said there’s “no written agreement” between both countries for use of the Hamadan base. They’re involved in “operational cooperation.”

Some reports indicate Dehghan chided Moscow for publicizing the arrangement. If so, it makes little sense.

Russian missions from Iranian territory are easily monitored by 
Western and regional intelligence, making it impossible to keep them secret. 

They’d be leaked to media scoundrels for Russian and Iran bashing stories. Russia beat them to the punch by informing Washington of its intentions before the first mission.

Moscow, Tehran, Damascus and China share common concerns about America’s regional imperial threat. Whether they intend united military resistance remains to be seen.

If they ally against all heavily armed US-supported anti-government terrorist groups, the corner could be turned decisively in the war.

At the same time, Hillary succeeding Obama will likely mean greater US involvement, fraught with unpredictable dangers.

After years of US aggression  using ISIS and other terrorist groups as imperial foot soldiers, the worst for Syrians and the region may lie ahead - a dismal prospect to imagine after what’s been done already.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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