Russian Su-35S (Photo credit: The Cradle)
The Islamic Republic of Iran finalized a deal for the purchase of Su-35 fighter jets with the Russian government, according to state media reports on 11 March.
The deal between Russia and Iran includes 24 Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets to replenish Iran’s air force, which currently consists of the US-made F-14 Tomcat, the F-4 Phantom II, and the MiG-29, which date back to the 1970s, as well as its own manufactured fighter jet, the Saeqeh-80.
IRNA news agency said, “Russia announced it was ready to sell them” after the expiry of UN resolution 2231 in October 2020, which placed restrictions on Iran purchasing conventional weapons.
“The Sukhoi 35 fighter jets were technically acceptable for Iran,” the statement added.
Russia and Iran have deepened their economic and defense cooperation in recent months due to growing pressure from the west and Russia’s military operation in Ukraine.
Ukraine repeatedly accused Iran of selling the Shahed-136 “kamikaze” drones to Russia during the war, an accusation denied by Iran, which claims it sold the suicide drones to Russia before the war.
Moreover, the US has raised the alarm over the growing cooperation between Russia and Iran, as Pentagon spokesman John Kirby warned last December that Russia would likely sell its fighter jets to Iran and that Iranian pilots already began their training.
Kirby claimed that the Su-35 would “significantly strengthen Iran’s air force relative to its regional neighbors.”
Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the UN announced on Friday that Iran has finalized buying #Sukhoi fighter jets from Russia.
Here is what Iran has purchased: pic.twitter.com/aw7EVkc18N
— IRNA News Agency (@IrnaEnglish) March 11, 2023
Meanwhile, Iran might send short-range precision-guided ballistic missiles to Russia in conjunction with this agreement.
In addition, Tehran requested other military equipment from Russia, including air defense systems, missile systems, and helicopters, according to Shahryar Heidari, a member of the Iranian National Security and Foreign Policy Committee.
Iran is also set to participate in the upcoming quadripartite meeting between Russia, Syria, Turkiye, and Iran on a foreign ministerial level to discuss regional developments, specifically current issues in Syria, according to RT.
During a press conference, Cavusoglu remarked that preparations for the meeting have already been made, and that it was initially set to be a tripartite session between Turkiye, Syria, and Russia; however, it was later agreed upon that Iran would participate in the talks, adding that Tehran’s involvement is “the only track that has worked so far on the issue of the Syrian crisis.”