Wednesday, August 17, 2016 8:23 pm
A top Iranian lawmaker confirmed on Wednesday that Russian warplanes were using an airbase on its territory, as Moscow announced it conducted another airstrike in Syria with jets that took off from Iran.
The Head of Parliament’s National Security Committee, Alaeddin Boroujerdi, said operations had been authorised by Iran’s Supreme National Security Council and are based on a deal between Iran, Russia, Syria and Iraq.
He specified that the jets were using the Nojeh airbase in Iran’s western Hamadan province to refuel.
Hamadan is much closer to positions of the Islamic State extremist group than the base Russia had previously been using, Khmeimim, in coastal northern Syria.
Earlier, the speaker of Iran’s parliament, Ali Larijani, denied that Russian warplanes were using Iranian territory, as the U.S. claimed such operations could violate a UN resolution.
Russia attested on Wednesday that its use of the Iranian airbase does not violate UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which forbids supplying warplanes to Tehran.
“No supplying, selling or transferring of warplanes to Iran has occurred,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.
U.S. State Department spokesman, Mark Toner had on Tuesday said Russia might be violating the resolution by using Iranian territory to launch airstrikes in Syria.
The resolution prohibits the supply, sale or transfer of combat aircraft to Iran unless approved in advance by the UN Security Council.
Russia and Iran are longtime allies of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Russia and the U.S. support opposing sides in Syria but agree on the need to eliminate UN-designated terrorist groups, such as Islamic State.
Russia’s Defence Ministry said that Su-34 warplanes took off from the Iranian airbase and conducted an airstrike against Islamic State targets in the Syrian province of Deir al-Zour.
The ministry said that the attack hit two Islamic State command points and large training camps, “eliminating more than 150 militants.
It was reported on Tuesday that Russian warplanes used an Iranian airbase for the first time for military actions in Syria. (dpa/NAN)