Russian Su-35S (Photo credit: The Cradle)
The Islamic Republic of Iran is scheduled to receive a number of Russia’s renowned Sukhoi Su-35 military aircraft in about three months, Shahriar Heydari, a member of the Iranian parliament’s National Security Committee, told media on 15 January.
According to the parliamentarian, Iran is also set to receive other Russian military equipment, including helicopters and air and missile defense systems. He did not specify the number of Russian jets Iran would receive.
“Most of these weapons will enter the country soon. For example, the Sukhoi 35 fighter jets will arrive in Iran at the beginning of next year,” Heydari said, referring to the start of Nowruz, the Iranian new year, which begins on 21 March.
According to media reports, the Sukhoi Su-35s that Tehran will receive are “highly maneuverable fourth-generation fighter jets that will be used primarily for air superiority missions.”
Iran has not acquired any new combat aircraft since it purchased a few Russian MiG-29 Fulcrum fighter jets in the 1990s.
The announcement of these upcoming deliveries represents a significant boost in economic, energy, and military ties between the two states, particularly in the wake of aggressive US-led western sanctions targeting both countries.
In October, the Washington Post released a report claiming that Tehran is planning to supply Moscow with advanced ballistic missiles, the Fateh-110 generation rocket, and its newly uncovered upgrade, the Zolfaghar.
Heydari’s announcement also comes as part of the broader framework of Russian-Iranian cooperation – particularly in finance, banking, and trade – a framework under which Moscow and Tehran have been working to build an economic roadmap independent of western hegemony and economic sanctions.
As part of this cooperation, Russia and Iran have been working to establish methods to alleviate the sanctions that target their economies, including the potential linking of card payment systems. Iran has also boosted its role as a transit hub by facilitating the transportation of goods from Russia to India via the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC).