Photo Credit: Kevin via Flickr
Tupolev TU-160

Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani announced that Tehran “will continue” to allow Russian fighter jets to use its airspace for military operations in Syria, Fars reported Saturday.

“[The Russians’] use of Iran’s airspace continues because we have a fully strategic cooperation with Russia,” Shamkhani told Fars, and stressed that Iran is ready for any cooperation with Russia on Syria.

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The Russian fighters’ flights through Iran’s airspace is carried out after complicated planning and coordination with officials in Tehran, according to Shamkhani. He noted that while a number of Russian bombers have recently flown through Iran’s airspace, none landed for refueling.

Iranian Defense Minister, General Hossein Dehqan said last November that Russia is free to use the Noje Airbase in Hamadan province for its aerial campaign in Syria if the situation called for it.

In mid-August 2016, Iran was already allowing Russian jets to operate for a week from a base in Hamadan. It was the first time an Iranian facility had been used by a foreign military force since World War 2.

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