Russia has stopped using an Iranian air base for launching airstrikes on Syria for the time being, Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman said Monday, just hours after the Iranian defense minister criticized Moscow for having a "kind of show-off and ungentlemanly" attitude by publicizing their actions, reports the AP. There was no immediate response from Moscow, which had used the Shahid Nojeh Air Base to refuel its bombers striking Syria at least three times last week. Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi told reporters in Tehran that the Russian airstrikes on militants in Syria were "temporary, based on a Russian request." He added that "it is finished, for now," without elaborating.
Last week, Russia announced it used the airfield, located about 30 miles north of the Iranian city of Hamedan. Iranian officials confirmed Russia's presence a day later. Responding to a question on state TV Monday about why Iran didn't initially announce Russia's presence at the airfield, defense chief Gen. Hossein Dehghan Dehghan appeared prickly. "Russians are interested to show they are a superpower to guarantee their share in political future of Syria and, of course, there has been a kind of show-off and ungentlemanly (attitude) in this field," he said. His remarks suggest Russia and Iran initially agreed to keep Moscow's use of the air base quiet.