Iranian delegation examined the S-400 production in Yekaterinburg

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In a significant move, Russia is enhancing Iran’s military prowess by offering them an array of high-tier anti-aircraft weaponry and advanced weapon systems. According to US intelligence authorities, this move is not only bolstering the military might of both nations but also potentially impairing Israel’s ability to launch direct attacks on Iran’s facilities. As reported by the esteemed media agency, The Washington Post, a delegation of 17 individuals from Iran was invited by Russia in March to visit its arms production facilities.  

Photo credit: RuAviation

The tour drew to a close with a visit to the Russian START NPP plant situated in Yekaterinburg. This facility is renowned for manufacturing key components for anti-aircraft batteries, including the S-400 GNA systems. Experts have pointed out a significant aspect of these systems – they are designed to detect and intercept stealth fighters from Israel or the United States.  

Although it’s uncertain whether a formal deal has been struck between the two nations, one thing is clear – it strengthens their mutual security ties. This progression could affect Israel’s military planning against Iran. Experts further explain that with the integration of Russian technology, Iran could emerge as a more formidable adversary, now capable of operating a wider array of aircraft and missile systems.

Photo credit: Reddit

Iran is not a client, but a partner

From the perspective of Western research institutes, Iran should not be viewed simply as a client of Russia, but rather as an equal trading partner engaged in the buying and selling of arms. The relationship between these two nations is deeply intertwined through their exchange of information and technology.

Confidential agreements initiated by Russia have recently come to light, with the intent to supply Iran with Su-35 fighter jets. This deal, if completed, stands to significantly upgrade Iran’s air force capabilities. 

Photo credit: Telegram

The deal also includes technical support from Russia in the development of Iranian space satellites, along with assistance in manufacturing the rockets needed to launch these satellites into space. Currently, Iran’s defense structure includes a Russian S-300 anti-aircraft missile system, which has been operational since 2019.

Suspension of deliveries

Armenia, spurred by assertions from the United States, suggests that Moscow is influencing Iran’s actions. Gayane Abrahamyan, a former member of parliament, has put forward the idea that Iran’s disruption of the shipment may be orchestrated by Russia. This notion, echoed by various sources, puts a glaring focus on the fear that international geopolitical maneuvers might be hindering the growth and modernization of Armenian armed forces.  

Photo credit: idrw / Indian Army

Despite the widespread propagation of Abrahamyan’s supposition, its authenticity remains unverified. Iran’s ambassador to Armenia, Mehdi Sobhani, was prudent when approached for comments in February of 2024. Instead of a direct response, he emphasized Iran’s commitment to strengthen Armenia and highlighted the importance of regional power balance for lasting peace. This suggests a potential favoring of Armenia’s military development, though it deftly avoids addressing the subject of the Indian supply directly. 

The narrative is further complicated by analyst Tatul Hakobyan’s claim that a Russian enterprise, initially agreeing to supply Pinaka launch vehicles [presumably part of India’s consignment] later reneged on that agreement. Subsequently, Iran is said to have stepped in. Despite these convoluted events, India remains steadfast in its commitment to fulfill its arms contract with Armenia, evidenced by ongoing reports of weapon delivery.

Iranian missiles in Ukraine

At least for a year, suspicions have periodically emerged positing that Iran is supplying Russia with missiles for the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Many Western experts share similar perspectives. A tweet showcasing a video was released by Obektivno.bg, in which Kirilo Budanov firmly dismisses the notion that ballistic missiles from Iran have been transferred to Russia. This declaration was made during an interview with the Ukrainian TV channel ‘We Are Ukraine’ at the Ukraine Forum 2024 event. 

“Not a single one. There’s no truth in these claims,” replied Budanov when queried about the credibility of the report on Iran’s provision of ballistic missiles to Russia. Budanov did acknowledge that a small number of such missiles were indeed given to Russia by North Korea. “However, in terms of large-scale operations, this doesn’t hold up,” Budanov finalized.

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