Iran Strikes Deal to Purchase Su-35 Fighter Jets from Russia
On March 11, Iranian state-owned news agency IRIB reported that Iran has signed a contract with Russia to buy Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets. However, no further details were provided.
Iran has been strengthening its ties with Russia in various sectors over the past year. Last year, Iran allegedly supplied Russia with Shahed-136 kamikaze drones, which Russian forces used to attack Ukraine’s energy infrastructure. Despite 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 United States imposed sanctions against companies and individuals involved in producing and transferring Iranian drones to Russia. Additionally, the European Union and Canada have also imposed sanctions on Iran over its supply of kamikaze drones to Moscow.
In December, the Pentagon warned that Iranian pilots were reportedly learning to fly Sukhoi fighters in Russia. Currently, Iran’s fleet primarily consists of Soviet Mikoyan and Sukhoi fighter jets, some Chinese aircraft, and several U.S.-made F-4 and F-5 fighter jets that date back to before the 1979 Islamic Revolution.