Regime Claims Russia Will Sell Tehran Advanced Fighter Jets

U.N. Snapback Would Restore Prohibition On Arms Sales

(New York, N.Y.) — Russia has agreed to sell its most technologically advanced fighter jets, the Sukhoi Su-35, to the Islamic Republic, Iranian state media reported on Saturday. Negotiations between Moscow and Tehran have been underway since at least September. The New York Times reported last month that for Iran, delivery would represent “the country’s most significant upgrade to its aging fighter jet fleet in decades.” It would also represent the first major arms sale to Iran since the expiration of the international arms embargo in October 2020.  

Prior to the expiration of the arms embargo, the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency warned that Iran was “evaluating and discussing military hardware for purchase primarily from Russia and, to a lesser extent, China.” Nevertheless, the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council – including France and the U.K. – declined to follow U.S. leadership to reimpose all U.N. sanctions against Iran.  

To read United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI)’s resource JCPOA Sunset Alert: Arms Embargo, please click here.  

To read UANI’s resource Tehran’s Ties With Beijing and Moscow, please click here.  

In the nearly 13 months since Russia invaded Ukraine, Russia and Iran have been forging increasingly close military-to-military ties. Iran has played a critical role in arming the Russian military with drones that have been used to attack and kill Ukrainian civilians and destroy infrastructure. The U.S., U.K., and France argue that Iran’s provisioning of drone technology to Russia violates U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231 restrictions on Iran missiles and other similar technologies, which are scheduled to similarly expire in October 2023.  

To read UANI’s resource JCPOA Sunset Alert: Missile Restrictions, please click here.  

The U.S. and its European allies should aim for the reimposition of all U.N. sanctions and restrictions on Iran through the “snapback” mechanism enshrined in Resolution 2231, which can be invoked in response to any violation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) over the veto of permanent members- Russia or China. Tehran stands in open violation of the JCPOA’s limitations and restrictions on uranium enrichment and activities related to ballistic missiles and related technologies.