Iran confirms order for Su-35s and Mi-28s from Russia… again…

Iran's Tasnim news agency reported that Tehran and Moscow have completed negotiations for the acquisition of Su-35s, Mi-28s and Yak-130s to modernize Iran's air forces. If the information were proven, it could lead to a profound change in the regional balance of power.

Since the start of the conflict in Ukraine, several countries, banned from world nations, have seized the opportunity to try to escape their global blacklisting. This is the case of North Korea, which recently delivered a million 152 mm artillery shells to the Russian armies.

This is also the case for Iran which, since the start of the conflict, has moved considerably closer to Moscow both from a diplomatic and commercial point of view, but also in terms of armaments. Thus, the Iranian-made Shahed 136 very long-range attack drones have played for more than a year an important role in the harassment strategy carried out by Russian forces against Ukrainian infrastructure.

Russian compensation for Iran and North Korea's support for its war effort

As we headlined a month ago, on the most crucial of questions, concerning these rapprochements, namely what were the compensations obtained by Pyongyang and Tehran, for openly siding with Russia in this conflict, including by supplying weapons.

Shahed 136 Ukraine
Iran has supplied Russia with more than a thousand Shahed 136 attack drones with a range of more than 2000 km, used to strike Ukrainian civilian infrastructure.

Several of these compensations have emerged in recent months, notably in the position of Russia and the use of its status as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, to hinder international responses against these two countries.

In addition, trade seems to have increased significantly between Russia and Iran, as well as probably with North Korea, although it is much more difficult to get a sense of the subject, given the opacity of the North Korean regime.

However, the main concern of Tehran, like Pyongyang, concerns the modernization of their armed forces, under severe embargo for several decades. In this area, obviously, Russian offers have something to interest the leaders and armies of the two countries.

Su-35s heavy fighters for Iran, long-standing information

So, it has now been more than 18 months since Tehran regularly communicates on the acquisition of heavy long-range Su-35s fighters near Moscow. Last December, the Iranian authorities even promised a first delivery in spring 2023. This was not the case, even though many hypotheses about the origin of the 24 announced fighters had been made.

The Su-35s is the most advanced fighter in the Russian arsenal offered for export. However, it is unclear to what extent Russian industry is capable of producing these devices for an export client today, while supporting the Russian military operation in Ukraine.

At the beginning of the week, the national press agency Tasnim once again announced the imminence of the acquisition of Su-35s by Tehran, alongside Mi-28 combat helicopters and Yak-130 training and attack aircraft. According to the press release, the Iranian and Russian authorities have finalized and validated the agreement for this strategic market, which would be none other than the most important arms contract signed by Iran in 30 years.

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