Iran yet to receive Su-35 jets it bought from Russia – report

Russia was supposed to supply Iran with SU-35 fighter jets, but it took all the payment and has not yet delivered a single aircraft
Russia was supposed to supply Iran with SU-35 fighter jets, but it took all the payment and has not yet delivered a single aircraft

Nearly a year after Iran purchased 50 Su-35 fighter jets from Russia, the aircraft are still not delivered, journalist Saeed Azimi wrote in a July 13 report for the Bourse and Bazaar Foundation analytical center.

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In Azimi's piece, he mentioned that Iranian Brig. Gen. Hamid Vahedi confirmed the completion of all payments for Russia's Su-35 fighters. These jets were expected to be in Tehran's possession this year, yet the government is now uncertain if they will ever arrive.

Azimi reported that Iran expected the aircraft to be delivered three weeks ago. However, Vahedi asserted that delivery is not expected to occur. Furthermore, he revealed that Iran's top officials have acknowledged this decision while continuing to await the required aircraft, uncertain of when they will be integrated into their fleet.

According to the report, Iran's air force is primarily composed of antiquated U.S. planes that have far surpassed their operational lifespan. Hence, Tehran was compelled to purchase 50 Su-35 fighters from its ally, Russia.

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Russia managed not only to secure the prepayment for the aircraft but also to negotiate a deal for Iranian-made Shahed kamikaze drones. Tehran began supplying the UAVs in late 2022. Nearly a year has passed since these arrangements were made, and yet, Tehran has not received any Su-35 jets.

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Azimi's article underscores that Russia, dealing with challenges arising from its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, sought Iran's assistance. In return, Tehran responded to the Kremlin's request, providing support. However, as Azimi concludes, Iran was merely exploited, receiving nothing in exchange.

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The Wall Street Journal reported in late April that, over the past six months, Iran has supplied Russia with over 300,000 artillery shells and around one million rounds of ammunition via cargo ships.

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