• Iran allowed the Russian air force to use its base at Hamedan (western Iran) for air strikes in Syria. The Iranian defense minister said Iran would allow Russian planes to use the airfield as long as necessary, but had reservations about the publication of Russian planes’ deployment by the Russian ministry of defense.Iranian foreign ministry’s spokesman said that the Russian presence in Hamedan was temporary and had ended for the time being. The chairman of the Majlis (Iranian parliament) committee for national security and foreign policy said the Russian planes were stationed in Hamedan within the Iranian-Russian cooperation drawn up by the joint operations room which has been operating during the past year in Damascus and Baghdad.
  • Ali-Akbar Velayati, international advisor to the Iranian supreme leader, claimed that ousting Syrian President Bashar Assad was no longer on the Western agenda. He claimed that increased Iranian, Russian and Turkish cooperation would strengthen the Syrian government in its fight against terrorism.
  • A high ranking commander in the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) claimed Iran had established a “Shi’ite liberation army” operating in Syria, Iraq and Yemen under the command of Qasem Soleimani, the commander of the IRGC’s Qods Force. He said the objective of the “liberation army” was to ensure that Israel would not exist within 23 years.
  • The secretary of Iraq’s supreme national security council, the speaker of the Iraqi parliament and the minister of the interior of Iraqi Kurdistan paid a visit to Tehran. Senior Iranian officials told them Iran was committed to supporting Iraq, stressing that its territorial integrity was important to Iran. The office of Iraqi Kurdistan’s President Masoud Barzani announced that he had accepted Tehran’s invitation to visit Iran and planned a visit in the near future.
  • Osama Hamdan, responsible for Hamas’ international relations, claimed the relations between Iran and Hamas had improved. He denied a report in a Saudi Arabian-sponsored newspaper that Tehran had conditioned Iran’s continued financial support of Hamas on a pledge of loyalty to Iran.