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Russia increases collaboration with Iran: Bloomberg analysis explores impact on Israel

Russia increases collaboration with Iran: Bloomberg analysis explores impact on Israel Archive photo: Vladimir Putin and Ali Khamenei (Getty Images)
Author: Daryna Vialko

Russia openly collaborates with Iran in the military sphere and supplies it with a range of important technologies. This could enhance Tehran's capabilities, which recently attempted to shell Israel, as reported by Bloomberg.

Today, the Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation, Sergey Shoigu, met with his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad-Reza Ashtiani, and announced plans to expand military cooperation.

"The suggestion that Iran is sourcing weapons from Russia has raised concerns in Israel about the implications of expanding Moscow-Tehran defense ties," the agency writes.

Former Acting Director General of the Israeli Ministry of Strategic Affairs, Shay Har-Zvi, stated that Russia looks set to supply Iran with Su-35 fighter jets and the S-400 air defense system. He also clarified that Russia is working with Iran in cyberspace and intelligence exchange, as well as assisting it in launching spy satellites.

A senior fellow at the Reichman University Har-Zvi said that Russia is an adversary of Israel because it supports a radical anti-Israel axis.

Relations between Russia and Iran are becoming closer

Israeli state broadcaster Kan reported that on April 19, Israel managed to overcome Iran's air defense by launching supersonic missiles that damaged a Russian-made S-300 battery at an airbase near Isfahan.

Meanwhile, Russia is relying on Iran to provide drones for the war in Ukraine. The publication notes that the supplies of the two countries complement each other, as Russia needs more missiles and drones, while Iran lacks modern air defense systems and fighters.

A former senior official of the Israeli Ministry of Defense, Major General (Reserve) Amos Gilead, stated that Russia and Iran have become closer than ever due to the war in Ukraine.

What Russia has delivered to Iran

In September, Iran received its first batch of Yak-130 trainer-combat aircraft from Russia. These aircraft can be used to train pilots for the Su-35. Two months later, the Iranian Deputy Minister of Defense announced that agreements for the supply of these fighters had been finalized.

Iran's current fleet of combat aircraft is outdated, including American F-14 aircraft, which first entered service in the 1970s. Additionally, Iran desires the S-400 system, which is supposed to be able to target objects up to 400 kilometers away and is able to counter aircraft such as the F-35.

As Russian submarines are also on Iran's potential shopping list, Moscow's military alliance with Tehran raises concerns not only for Israel but also for other US allies, namely Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Russia-Iran cooperation

Following the onset of the war in Ukraine, Russia and Iran have strengthened their cooperation, including in the military sphere. Iran has been under sanctions for a long time, and Russia faced significant sanctions only after 2022, thus both countries are isolated. Nevertheless, Iran has repeatedly provided Russia with kamikaze drones, which Russia uses for attacks on Ukraine.

In February, the military forces of Iran, Russia, and China planned to conduct joint military-naval exercises. Recently, the G-7 countries urged Iran not to transfer ballistic missiles to Russia for use in the war against Ukraine.

In winter, Ukrainian intelligence detained a hostile spy in Mykolaiv who intended to "leak" Ukrainian military shipbuilding technologies to Iran and Russia.