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Iran Bolsters Air Defense with Arrival of Russian Su-35 Fighter Jets

Russia has initiated the transfer of Su-35 fighter planes to Iran as part of its established deals with the nation. On Tuesday, a video clip showcasing a warplane flying over Iranian soil was disseminated on social media, revealing the moment when one fighter jet touched down at Mehrabad International Airport in Tehran.

According to witnesses, the arrival of at least three Su-35s created a buzz. In December 2022, Western intelligence disclosed that Russia would provide Su-35 fighter jets to Iran as a trade-off for military support. As part of their deepening collaboration, the Biden administration has accused Russia of furnishing Iran with sophisticated military gear such as air defense systems, helicopters, and fighter planes.

The leader of the Iranian Air Force had earlier mentioned that the purchase of Russian Su-30s, which was initially planned, has now made way for the procurement of Su-35s. In January 2023, Shahriar Heydari, a member of the parliamentary commission on Iran’s national security and foreign policy, confirmed the deal to purchase Russian fighter planes, which would arrive in the country at the start of the new Iranian year, post-March 21. Iran also received training for its pilots to operate the Su-35 fighter planes from Russia.

In March, the Permanent Mission of Iran to the UN announced that a contract to buy Russian Su-35 fighter planes had been signed, but did not reveal the number or value of the aircraft. These planes were initially meant for Egypt, but after Cairo refused to accept them, Moscow and Tehran agreed to their supply, probably as an exchange for aid in the conflict with Ukraine.

In 2022, 21 Su-35 fighter jets, originally assigned to Egypt, were stationed at the Komsomolsk-on-Amur Aircraft Plant named after Yu.A. Gagarin.

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