Did Russia help Iran with ‘advanced fighter jets, air defense technology’? Report says…

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As Iran tensions run high in the Middle East following Iranian airstrikes on Israel and Benjamin Netanyahu vowing response to it, a report has hinted that a Russian arms maker, sanctioned by the United States, may have assisted Tehran against any future attacks.

Under the strategic partnership between the two countries, the factory will provide “advanced fighter jets and air defense technology” that may help Tehran enhancing its defences in the light of recent developments in Middle East, The Washington Post quoted US, European and Middle Eastern intelligence officials as saying.

It is, however, not known if the meeting between the arms maker and some Iranian official in last March has led to any purchases.

In the year 2007, Iran purchased Russia’s S-300 antiaircraft system but with pressure building up from the US and other European countries, Moscow delayed the delivery, the report mentions. But it did and the S-300s that Iran have became operational in 2019. Now Iran is eyeing the advanced S-400.

Since Iranian airstrikes on the Israeli territory, Moscow has refrained from publicly criticising its ally but has urged restraint between the two countries.

On Saturday, Iran launched the attack in retaliation for what it says was an April 1 Israeli airstrike on its embassy compound in Damascus, and signalled that it does not seek further escalation. Since then, Israel has remained on high alert. While Iran also warned Israel of any retaliation against the airstrikes, the Israeli military has vowed response, triggering tensions.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday summoned his war cabinet for the second time in less than 24 hours to weigh a response to Iran’s weekend missile and drone attack, a government source said.

Israel’s military Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi said the country would respond. “This launch of so many missiles, cruise missiles, and drones into Israeli territory will be met with a response,” he said.

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Published: 16 Apr 2024, 07:58 AM IST

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