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Iran finalizes deal to buy Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets from Russia

This file picture shows a cutting-edge Russian-built Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jet in flight. (Photo via Twitter)

Iran has finalized a deal to purchase Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets from Russia as Tehran and Moscow are keen to deepen defense and economic cooperation in defiance of sweeping sanctions and coercive measures.

"Following the end of the Iran-Iraq war in 1988, Iran asked a bunch of countries to review the possibility of selling fighter jets to Iran and Russia said it was ready for their sale," Iran's mission to the United Nations told Russia's Sputnik news agency on Friday.

"The Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets are technically acceptable to Iran. So after October 2020 and the end of Iran's restrictions on conventional weapons purchases (based on the UN Security Council Resolution 2231), Iran has finally agreed to buy them," it added.

The diplomatic mission, however, did not specify the exact time that the deal was reached, nor the time Russia would deliver the fighter jets to Iran. It gave no more details about the deal as they are classified.

Iran and Russia both have been targeted with US-led sanctions in recent years, but the sanctions have failed to secure Western countries’ interests.

The longstanding UN ban on the sale of arms from/to Iran was terminated on October 18, 2020 under the terms of the UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which was passed by the world body to uphold the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), signed between the Islamic Republic and world powers.

It came after the administration of former US President Donald Trump suffered an embarrassing loss after it failed to renew the Iranian arms embargo through a resolution at the UN Security Council. Russia and China voted against the motion and the remaining 11 council members, including France, Germany and the UK, abstained.

In April 2015, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a presidential decree, paving the way for the long-overdue delivery of the S-300 long-range air defense systems to Iran, which came after the conclusion of the JCPOA.

Moscow delivered the first batches of the S-300 air defense system to Iran in 2016.

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