Russia is expanding its navy in the Middle East, working with Tehran in establishing forward bases in two southern ports of Iran, according to UAWire.org.
The bases in Bushehr and Chabahar, Iran will have nuclear submarines, high-ranking Tehran sources told OilPrice this summer.
Russia and Tehran announced increased military cooperation through a memo in July, UAWire reported, as the United States has placed an oil embargo on Iran as part of economic sanctions after the Trump administration's withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement.
"This is a turning point in Tehran and Moscow's defense relations," Iranian Navy Commander Hossein Khanzadi told Mehr News Agency, an Iranian news entity in Tehran owned by the Islamic Ideology Dissemination Organization.
Bushehr will allow Russia Aerospace Forces fighter aircraft and a station of Russian special forces, which will reportedly serve as "advisers" to the Iranian military.
In exchange for the strategic Middle East military base access, Tehran will reportedly receive financial assistance from Russia amid the U.S. economic sanctions on oil.
The deal has the support of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and the supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, despite some still-strained relations with Russia, per the report.
"If you can't buy food at a supermarket 10 miles from you, you have no choice but to go to the store on the corner, no matter how lousy it is," a senior Iranian official told UAWire.
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