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Iran leans on Russia, hopes for Sukhoi sale as EU pressure mounts  

Tehran is increasingly boosting its military ties with Moscow, hoping for Sukhoi sale, amid dim prospects for the revival of the nuclear deal and a wave of fresh sanctions over its crackdown on dissent at home.
Indian Air Force (IAF) Russian-made Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighter jet takes part in an air refueling exercise from a French Air and Space Force (FASF). Russia is reportedly mulling sale of Sukhoi fighter jets to Iran.  (Photo by EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP via Getty Images)

As their relations get strained with the West, Iran and Russia are deepening their ties. This month saw two phone calls in less than 10 days between Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, multiple high-level visits, and reports on potential sale of Russian Sukhoi fighter jets to Iran in a bid to escape tightening EU and US sanctions. 

Iran has already drawn the ire of its Western foes by delivering combat drones to Russia, which are being used in the latter's war on Ukraine. Tehran has denied this armament, but as evidence mounts of its kamikaze drones crashing in Kyiv, it has become increasingly unable to convince the Ukrainian side of its denials.

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