For the first time since the Iranian Islamic revolution in 1979, Iran has allowed a foreign power to use one of its military bases, that foreign power being Russia.
Iran and Russia have been becoming closer and closer allies since 2015 when Russia and Iran signed a deal to widen military cooperation which included Russia selling to Iran sophisticated advanced weaponry. Last September, the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding worth $74bn to develop their trade and economic ties in an array of sectors.
These sectors are mainly in gas and oil but also include heavy industries, mining, trade, agriculture, tourism, banking, technology and electricity. According to Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak, Iran and Russia are in the process of negotiating oil and gas swap contracts. They can also “establish a bank that will finance the joint [oil and gas] projects,” according to Novak.
Since 2015 Russia and Iran have been working together, but in a covert and not in a visible way, to help and support the Syrian regime of Bashar Al Assad, and to combat the Syrian Rebels, both the American and western supported proxies and the extremist fundamentalist ISIS and Al Nusra groups and their affiliates.
The Russians have been providing the air cover while Iran, through its ally Hezbollah of Lebanon, and the National Defence Forces organised by Iran in Syria, have provided the troops to bolster and help the Syrian army.
However yesterday, and for the first time ever, Russian war planes flew from an Iranian military base to bomb targets in Syria, signaling to the world that Russian Iranian military and economic relation has turned into a full blown relationship between the two countries which are now allied with one another.
If Russia and Iran are successful in helping Assad regain his control over the whole of Syria, the middle east will experience a shift in its power structure, where Iran, Syria and Russia, will play a significant role in any future developments in the middle east.