(Photo credit: Marina Lystseva/TASS)
The Islamic Republic of Iran will receive an entire squadron of Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets from Russia as Tehran and Moscow strengthen their defense and economic collaboration in defiance of broad sanctions and coercive measures, Al-Manar news reported on 28 December.
According to media sources quoting military specialists, Iran will soon get 24 fourth-generation twin-engine, super-maneuverable fighter jets that are mostly used for airpower missions.
The Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jet, according to the Russian company United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), “combines the qualities of a modern fighter (super-maneuverability, superior active and passive acquisition aids, high supersonic speed and long range, the capability of managing battle group actions, etc.”
Except for a few Russian MiG-29 Fulcrum fighters it purchased in the 1990s, Iran has not recently purchased any modern fighter aircraft.
In addition to the MiG-29, the IRIAF primarily utilizes locally modified F-4 Phantom II, F-14 Tomcat, and F-5E/F Tiger II aircraft from the 1970s that were sent to the overthrown, US-backed Pahlavi regime before the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
In recent months, significant agreements between Iran and Russia have been made to expand their economic, trade, energy, and military cooperation.
The Economic Times of India revealed in a report on 28 November that Russia and Iran have agreed to increase the volume of cargo transit along the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) to 12 million tons.
The agreement was inked during a recent visit by the head of the Iranian Railway infrastructure, Miad Salehi, who met with his counterpart in Moscow while on a two-day visit.
“With the targeting of 12 million tons of transit in today’s agreement with the head of Russian Railways, a new page is opened in Iran’s international rail relations,” Salehi was quoted by Iranian state media as saying.
After Washington unilaterally withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, Iran came under an all-encompassing regime of American sanctions in 2018.