Russian Use of Air Base "Necessary"

Russian Use of Air Base "Necessary"  Russian Use of Air Base "Necessary"

Ali Younesi, an aide to President Hassan Rouhani, said granting permission to Russian fighter planes to refuel and carry out anti-terror strikes in Syria from an air base in western Iran was a correct step.

"The Russian jets refueling in one of our military bases at one point with the aim of fighting the threat of Islamic State [terror group] should not be seen as an issue that shows our power or our weakness," Younesi told Fars News Agency.

"I regard this military cooperation to counter the threat of terrorism as important, strategic and necessary. I strongly defend this cooperation and am certain that it was the right move."

Younesi underscored the necessity for Iran to develop cooperation with the major powers that share Tehran's views based on the Constitution and national interest.

Russia used the air base in Hamadan from August 16-18 to carry out airstrikes against terror groups in Syria. The flights sparked mixed reactions in Tehran as observers, including some lawmakers, said the unprecedented development violated the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran.  On Monday, the Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said the use of the airfield for Russia's anti-terror mission in Syria could resume in line with bilateral agreements and developments on the ground.