Following Russian news reports on the use of the Iranian Hamadan airbase by Russian bombers to launch strikes in Syria, Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan said that the reports were intended "to demonstrate that they can influence and determine what happens within Syria." Asked by Iran's Channel 2 TV interviewer whether he was convinced that the reports were intended as a Russian "show off" of its strength, Dehghan responded: "Yes, and it was inappropriate." The interview aired on August 20.
Interviewer: "Why weren't we the first to publish the news (of the Russian use of an Iranian airbase)?"
Hossein Dehghan: "You need to ask the Russians about that. Naturally, the Russians want to show that they are a superpower, and that they can be influential in all the security issues in the region and worldwide. They want to demonstrate that they can influence and determine what happens within Syria, in order to conduct negotiations with the Americans, and to ensure that they play a role in the political future of Syria. They published (the reports) in order to ensure their interests."
Interviewer: "So you are convinced that the report was intended to show off (their strength)?"
Hossein Dehghan: "Yes, and it was inappropriate."