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Iran may drop its plan to buy Russian MiG-35 and Su-30 fighters, and opt to acquire Chengdu J-10 jets from China by investing half of the $3 billion financial assistance provided by Qatar.
The $3 billion aid was offered by the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani when he met Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in Tehran last week. Of the Qatar fund offered as compensation to families of victims killed in Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ “accidental” downing of Ukrainian airliner, Tehran plans to invest $1.5 billion on buying 36 Chinese jets, reports China’s Sina News.
This contradicts recent reports in the Russian state media that have long being stating that Tehran is “seriously interested” in procuring its jets.
“Although Iran appears to be interested in combat-proven Russian Su-30 jets, Iran could pick the Chinese alternative in light of the recent criticism against Russian military aircraft, primarily on account of the lack of spare parts,” the Sina report said.