Home/ News / World/  Russia-Iran ties deepen; Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets' deal sealed

With deepening defence ties, Iran has finalised a deal to buy Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets from Russia. Iran has forged strong ties with Moscow in various sectors including the military in the past year. The air force of sanctions-hit Iran has an ageing fleet of aircraft and has struggled to acquire spare parts to keep its warplanes in the air.

"Moscow is ready to deliver the fighter jets to Iran," the country's mission to the United Nations was quoted as saying in the official IRNA.

"Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets were technically approved by the Iranian aviation experts, and therefore... Iran finalised the contract to buy those planes," it said.

Meanwhile, Ukraine has accused Tehran of supplying Moscow with Shahed-136 "kamikaze" drones used in attacks on civilian targets since Russia's invasion in February last year.

Also, America has expressed alarm over the growing military cooperation between Iran and Russia, with Pentagon spokesman John Kirby warning in December that Russia looked likely to sell Iran its fighter jets.

Kirby maintained that Iranian pilots had reportedly been learning to fly the Sukhoi warplanes in Russia and that Tehran may receive the aircraft within the next year, which would "significantly strengthen Iran's air force relative to its regional neighbours".

Iran currently has mostly Russian MiG and Sukhoi fighter jets that date back to the Soviet era.

Some Chinese aircraft, including F-7 and American F-4 and F-5 fighter jets dating back to before the 1979 Islamic Revolution is also part of its fleet.

As per some reports, Russia has overtaken China as the biggest investor in Iran.

Russia had spent some $2.7 billion on two oil projects in the western province of Ilam since hardliner Ebrahim Raisi’s government came into power in August 2021.

There have been several high-ranking visits and a raft of agreements to expand trade and military cooperation between the two countries.

Besides, Iran and Russia have connected their interbank communication and transfer systems to help boost trade and financial transactions.

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Updated: 12 Mar 2023, 08:12 AM IST
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