Russia is preparing to supply Iran with Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets in the near future, according to a report in Israeli media citing Western intelligence officials.
A report by the Israeli Channel 12 said that the deal may include up to 24 aircraft that were originally destined for Egypt, in a deal that was thwarted by the United States.
According to the report, after the failure of the deal with Egypt, Moscow searched for a new potential buyer, and it was said to have found him in Tehran.
The report comes after Iranian media reported in September that Tehran was considering such a purchase.
The report indicated that the intelligence information indicated that the Iranian pilots were indeed using the planes for training, without going into details.
Washington warned of a wide-ranging relationship between Iran and Russia involving private military equipment after Russian forces invaded Ukraine in February.
Both countries are targeted by severe sanctions over Iran’s nuclear program and Russia over its attack on Ukraine.
Earlier on Saturday, a senior Ukrainian official called for the “liquidation” of Iranian factories producing weapons for Russia and the “arrest of suppliers”.
Ukrainian presidential advisor Mykhailo Podolak tweeted that Tehran plans to increase its supplies of drones and missiles to Russia, despite international sanctions imposed on companies and entities involved in arms transfers to Russia.
Reports indicate that Tehran has so far supplied the Russian forces with about 1,700 attack drones and plans to supply 300 more in the near future.
British Foreign Office sources said last week that Iranian-made drones supplied to Russia played a “central role” in the attacks on civilian targets in Ukraine.
Mossad chief David Barnia warned Thursday that Iran is looking to expand its supply of advanced weaponry to Russia.
Parnia said that the Mossad “continues to warn about the future of Iran and its intentions, which it is trying to hide.”
Earlier this month, the CIA said Russia was also looking to help Iran, which could pose a threat to US allies in the region.
“What is beginning to emerge are at least the beginnings of a full-fledged defense partnership between Russia and Iran, where the Iranians provide the Russians with drones that kill Ukrainian civilians as we speak today,” William Burns, the head of the CIA, said in an interview.