Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan stated Tehran’s plan to buy Sukhoi Su-30 fighter jets from Russia, adding that Moscow’s anti-terrorism flights in Syria from Iran’s Western airbase of Nojeh might resume in future, Fars News Agency (FNA) reported.
“Purchase of Sukhoi Su-30 from Russia is on the Defense Ministry’s agenda,” General Dehqan said, addressing a large gathering of Iranian Basij (volunteer) forces in Tehran on Saturday.
“We will cooperate with any country, except Israel and the US, to meet our defensive needs,” he added.
His remarks came after Iran and Russia began negotiating the supply of $10 billion worth of weapons and hardware to Tehran following the successful delivery of Russia’s S-300 air defense missile systems to the country in October.
“These negotiations are being carried out, the road has been paved. The order book, discussed today, reflects the needs of Tehran and amounts to some $10 billion,” the Head of the defense and security committee of the Russian upper house of parliament, Viktor Ozerov, told reporters earlier this month during a parliamentary visit to Iran.
He said the arms in question include T-90 tanks, artillery systems and various aircraft.
Dehqan also referred to recent media reports saying that Russia might use Hamadan airbase in Iran again to carry out airstrikes on terrorist groups in Syria, and said: “We will render any necessary cooperation to Russia to help the legal Syrian government and this cooperation could be done in any form.”
Russian planes carried out several counterterrorism missions in Syria from Hamadan in mid-August. The deployment lasted approximately a week and was the first of its kind in Iran’s modern history, FNA added.
A senior defense official announced in August that Russia might use Hamadan airbase in Iran again to carry out airstrike against terrorist groups in Syria.
“Moscow and Tehran would conduct mutually beneficial cooperation and reach agreements on some specific issues soon, including the use of the Hamadan airbase by the Russian military to strike extremist groups in Syria”, Vladimir Komoedov, Chairman of the Defense Committee in the State Duma, said.
“An agreement between the two countries over the issue is only a matter of time,” he said, adding that Tehran has shown through concrete actions in recent months that its partnership with Moscow is strong.