March 21, 2023

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Media: Iran strikes deal to buy Su-35 fighters from Russia

Iran has concluded a contract to purchase Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets from Russia, according to Saeed Iravani, Iran’s representative to the UN, Iranian state-owned news agency IRIB reported on March 11. 

No other details were reported.

Iran has developed strong ties with Russia in various sectors over the past year, providing Russia with Shahed-136 kamikaze-drones that Russian forces are using to attack Ukraine’s energy infrastructure.

Despite overwhelming evidence of the drone supplies, Iran has denied delivering them to Russia after the start of the full-scale invasion in February 2022.

In November, the U.S. imposed sanctions against companies and individuals involved in producing and transferring Iranian drones to Russia. The EU and Canada have also sanctioned Iran over its supply of kamikaze drones to Moscow.

The Pentagon warned in December that Iranian pilots had reportedly been learning to fly Sukhoi fighters in Russia.

Iran’s fleet mostly consists of Soviet Mikoyan and Sukhoi fighter jets, some Chinese aircraft, and several U.S.-made F-4 and F-5 fighter jets dating back to before the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

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