October 1, 2023

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No limits on exports and imports of military equipment: defense chief

TEHRAN – Iranian Defense Minister Mohammad Reza Ashtiani has said that Iran faces no limits in terms of exporting and importing military gear, Tasnim reported on Sunday.

“We have no restrictions on providing equipment to countries and we are in contact with all countries and continue this relationship with authority. Any country that is committed to the interests, security and maintenance of international peace and thinks about common global security, we will definitely help it,” Ashtiani said when asked about the likelihood of Iran exporting military equipment to Venezuela. 

Hailing the military cooperation between Iran and Venezuela, Ashtiani said, “Venezuela is a big country located in a sensitive area, and we have had relations with this country since the past years. Perhaps it can be said that the most interactions of our presidents were with Venezuela. In the Ministry of Defense, as the head of the joint economic commission of the two countries, we organize all the internal capabilities in various fields, one part of which is security and defense issues.”

In response to another question about some speculations and news about the purchase of the Sukhoi 35 fighters from Russia and the possibility of its arrival in the country in the near future, the Minister of Defense said, “We are a manufacturer ourselves and work in the aviation industry in the field of fighters, transport aircraft, training aircraft and other sectors. But if we feel the need for our defense power, we will try to get it from any country that has technological facilities or equipment.”

He also said that discussions about the Sukhoi fighter are more speculative. “Of course, we follow the work based on the contracts that the Islamic Republic of Iran has already had with different countries in various fields. It is possible that some of them will come to a conclusion at any point, and then we would say that the case that we signed a contract for, for example, 5 years ago, has now come to a conclusion.” 

Ashtiani pointed out that there are no restrictions on Iran purchasing military equipment. “No, it is not prohibited, wherever we need.  We do not feel any restrictions in providing the needs or exporting.”

In late April, the Iranian defense minister visited Moscow to take part in a joint meeting with counterparts from Russia, Turkey, and Syria.

Earlier this month, Iranian media reported that Iran would receive the first shipment of Russian SU-35 warplanes within weeks. 

Facing severe Western sanctions, Tehran and Moscow have started to strengthen their relationship.

In recent months, Iran and Russia have inked significant agreements to expand their economic, commercial, energy, and military ties.

It was first reported by Iran’s Persian-language media, which did not go into detail about the shipment.

The SU-35 is a fourth-generation fighter aircraft primarily built for air superiority missions.

There have been media reports in recent months alleging that Iran has received SU-35 aircraft from Russia.

In March, Iran’s permanent delegation to the United Nations acknowledged that the government had sealed a contract to acquire the plane.

According to Iranian media sources at the time, 24 units of the fighter jets will be delivered to Iran.

Original News : https://www.tehrantimes.com/news/485228/No-limits-on-exports-and-imports-of-military-equipment-defense

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