Sukhoi Su-30 fighter jet

Russia readying Flankers for delivery to Iran

TEHRAN (FNA)- The contract to sell the advanced Russian fighter jets, Sukhoi 30 (NATO reporting name: Flanker), to Iran will be finalized by the end of this year, media reports said.

The Sukhoi Su-30 is a twin-engine, two-seat supermaneuverable fighter aircraft developed by Russia’s Sukhoi Aviation Corporation.

It is a multirole fighter for all-weather, air-to-air and air-to-surface deep interdiction missions.

Tehran and Moscow started talks on the supply of the Russian-made Sukhoi 30 fighter jets to Iran on March 26.

The talks were held 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 Sorena Sattari were present.

“Today, we visited different parts of the exhibition and the fighter jets’ air show for three and a half hours accompanied by Mr. Putin which was a rare opportunity,” Sattari told FNA at the time.

Asked if the issue of purchasing Russia’s Shkhoi 30 was raised during the visit, Sattari said, “We spoke about it but we didn’t discuss purchasing them and talks were mostly focused on the technological issues.”

Other Iranian officials also spoke of the purchase, but didn’t reveal any more details.

After media reports revealed serious talks between Tehran and Moscow on the purchase of the Russian Sukhoi 30 fighter jet, US Department of State Undersecretary for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon said last Tuesday that Washington would use its veto power in the Security Council to block the possible sales of the fighter jets to Iran.

“The sale of Su-30 fighter aircraft is prohibited under UNSCR 2231 without the approval of the UN Security Council and we would block the approval of any sale of fighter aircraft under the restrictions,” Shannon said, referring to the UN resolution.

But Head of Russian Foreign Ministry’s Administration for Security and Disarmament Mikhail Oliyanov said Moscow can sell Sukhoi-30 fighter jets and T-90 tanks to Iran as there are no international obstacles.

“The UN Security Council’s Resolution 2231 has not banned sale of these military equipment to Iran,” he said on the same day.

“We are of the opinion that the possible sale of Sukhoi-30 fighter jets and T-90 tanks of Russia to Iran have not been prohibited in Resolution 2231 and this resolution has permitted Iran to purchase such military hardware,” Oliyanov added.

His remarks were repeated by Head of Iran-Russia Parliamentary Friendship Group Ramezanali Sobhani who underlined on Wednesday that “Purchase of Sukhoi 30 fighters and T-90 tanks are within the framework of defensive-security issues and no country, including the US, is entitled to interfere”.

Iranian media reports said earlier this week that the contract to purchase the Sukhoi 30 fighters from Russia will be signed before the end of this year.

The report said that Tehran is now in serious talks with Moscow on buying the advanced warplanes.

By Fars News Agency