Russian-Arab ties are a possible obstacle to Su-35s supply to Iran

MOSCOW, RUSSIA — The delivery of Russian Su-35 fighter jets to Iran will depend on Moscow’s relations with Arab countries, Mr. Kirill Semenov said. He is a orientalist, and expert at the Russian International Relations Council [INAC]. He stated this on his Telegram channel on February 5.

Ukrainian MiG-29 shot down a Russian Su-35 Flanker-E fighter jet
Photo: Twitter

A few days ago, Iranian officials said that there could be a problem in the deal between Russia and Iran to acquire the Su-35. “The problem of the possible supply of Su-35 to Iran, which Iranian officials are talking about, is not so much a problem of Russian-Iranian relations themselves, but rather of Arab-Russian ones,” noted the Orientalist.

As Semenov explained, maintaining Moscow’s military cooperation with Arab states, despite US pressure, could directly affect “the dynamics of military relations between Russia and Iran.” recalls that Tehran abandoned the acquisition of the Russian Su-30. In their place, it chose to purchase 24 Su-35 Flanker-E fighters. It is said that they will be from the lot prepared for Egypt. However, the deal between Moscow and Cairo fell through, under US pressure on the African country and the threat of economic sanctions under the CAATSA law.

Russian-Iranian ties

Iran and Russia have sharply deepened military cooperation with each other. Especially after the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022. Russia bought about 600 Shahed drones from Iran, which it used in a series of air attacks against Ukrainian energy infrastructure facilities, and not only.

Moscow is said to be expecting another delivery of drones from Iran in the coming days. At the same time, Moscow and Tehran are about to start joint production of Shahed drones on Russian territory. The site for the future plant has already been surveyed and the city will be Yelabuga.

Russia may be forced to develop a new version of the Su-35 for Iran, despite claims that “Egyptian aircraft” will fly directly to Tehran. The reason is that Iranian pilots do not have any experience in this class of aircraft, especially Soviet ones. For this reason, Russia may need to develop a two-seater Su-35 aircraft. Such types of aircraft are generally preferred by the Iranian Air Force even for operational missions.

Although there is a delivery date for the Su-35, it is not yet clear whether, at the last minute, obstacles that may arise will not force Tehran to look for another supplier. It was rumored that the Su-35 has a competitor in the form of the Chinese J-10 and JF-17.


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