Iran says negotiating with Russia for Sukhoi fighter jets
Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan says Tehran is in talks with Moscow for the purchase of Russian-made Sukhoi fighter jets.
“We are discussing the purchase of Sukhoi fighter planes” from Russia, Dehqan said in an interview with Lebanon-based Arabic-language al-Mayadeen news network on Sunday.
Earlier this week, Tehran and Moscow held negotiations about the Russian-made Sukhoi 30 fighter jets, a twin-engine, two-seat supermaneuverable fighter aircraft.
The talks were held on Tuesday on the sidelines of the MAKS 2015 air show in the town of Zhukovsky near Moscow during which Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian Vice President for Science and Technology Affairs Sorena Sattari were present, Fars News Agency reported.
In response to a question about the purchase of Russia’s Sukhoi 30, Sattari said, “We spoke about it but we didn’t discuss purchasing them and talks were mostly focused on the technological issues.”
Elsewhere in the interview, the Iranian defense minister said Russia has agreed to start delivering of S-300 surface-to-air missile defense system to Iran by the end of the current year.
Moscow had banned the delivery of the missile defense system to Tehran in 2010 under the pretext that the agreement it signed with Iran in 2007 was subject to the fourth round of the UN Security Council sanctions against the country over its nuclear program.
On April 13, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a presidential decree paving the way for the long-overdue delivery of the defense system to Iran after Tehran and six world powers reached a mutual understanding on Tehran’s nuclear program in the Swiss city of Lausanne on April 2.
Dehqan further pointed to the recent nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 countries, saying Iran will honor its obligations.
But, he warned, “If the opposite party reneges on its commitments, we will respond firmly.”
On July 14, Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – the United States, Britain, France, China, Russia – and Germany finalized the text of the nuclear agreement, dubbed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in Vienna.
Under the JCPOA, limits will be put on Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for, among other things, the removal of all economic and financial bans against the Islamic Republic.