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Monday, September 5, 2016

Russia’s Foothold in Iran: Why Tehran Changed Its Mind

Russia’s Foothold in Iran: Why Tehran Changed Its Mind

Perhaps Iran’s leaders would have suppressed popular indignation and Russian bombers would still be taking off from the Shahid Nojeh airfield now had it not been for Russian media playing up the prospect of establishing a military base in Iran, no matter how limited its resources and capabilities. The idea of handing over any part of its territory to foreigers is unacceptable to the Iranians Russian military aircraft at Iran’s Shahid Nojeh air base managed to generate global media attention twice in just a few days: first when they were unexpectedly deployed there to launch air strikes on Syria, and then when they left just as unexpectedly following annoyed outbursts from Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan.
It’s still not completely clear why the Russian aircraft had to leave. Moscow tried not to make a big deal out of it, officially confirming only that its bombers had returned from Iran. Russian media cited anonymous Defense Ministry sources as saying that a “misunderstanding” had arisen between the two countries.

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