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Russia's use of Iranian airbase over 'for now'

Russia will not be using an Iranian airbase to strike Syrian targets, Iran's foreign ministry announced today.

Last week long-range Russian Tupolev-22M3 bombers and Sukhoi-34 fighter bombers used Nojeh airbase, near the city of Hamadan, in north-west Iran to launch airstrikes against armed groups in Syria.

The move was criticised both at home, in Iran, and by the international community, including the US.

Some Iranian lawmakers called the move a breach of Iran's constitution which forbids "the establishment of any kind of foreign military base in Iran, even for peaceful purposes".

"We have not given any military base to the Russians and they are not here to stay," Iranian Defence Minister Hossein Dehghan was quoted as saying by the Fars news agency late yesterday.

Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi said: "Russia has no base in Iran and is not stationed here. They did this [operation] and it is finished for now."

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Asia & AmericasEurope & RussiaIranMiddle EastNewsRussiaSyriaUS
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