Iran says Russia can use its military bases for strikes in Syria

The statement comes as Iranian President Hassan Rouhani meets his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Moscow, where he is expected to discuss a quick resolution to the Syrian conflict.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

During his trip, Rouhani is also expected to sign several economic cooperation agreements with Russia.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Tuesday said Russia could use Iranian military bases to launch air strikes against militants in Syria on a "case by case basis."

The statement comes as Iranian President Hassan Rouhani meets his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Tuesday.

"Russia doesn't have a military base [in Iran], we have good cooperation, and on a case-by-case basis, when it is necessary for Russians fighting terrorism to use Iranian facilities, we will make a decision," Zarif told Reuters in Moscow where he is part of Rouhani’s delegation.

Russian jets used an air base in Iran to launch attacks against militant targets in Syria last summer.

The deployment ended abruptly after some Iranian lawmakers called the move a breach of Iran's constitution.

In Tuesday’s meeting, Rouhani and Putin are expected to discuss a resolution to the Syrian conflict, as well as ways to combat terrorism.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi said ahead of the trip that the leaders would discuss "regional issues, especially the Syrian crisis, solutions to end it quickly," as well as ways to counter "terrorism and extremism."

TRT World spoke to Daria Bondarchuk who is following the story from Moscow.

'New turning point'

In his meeting with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Monday, Rouhani hoped his visit would mark a "new turning point in the development" of relations.  

Iran is also expected to sign a slew of economic cooperation agreements with Russia, according to Iranian state media.

The Kremlin said in a statement this month that Rouhani's trip would focus in part on "the prospects of expanding trade, economic and investment ties."

It said that a "variety of bilateral documents" will be signed at the end of the meeting but did not specify in which fields.

Iranian arms purchases and Russian investment in the Iranian energy sector are likely talking points for Rouhani, less than two months before Iran's May 19 presidential election.

TRTWorld and agencies