BEIRUT, LEBANON (9:00 P.M.) – The National Interest online magazine recently touched on Iran’s chances of shooting down the American F-35 stealth fighter if it acquired the Russian S-400 air defense system.
The National Interest article, titled “Could Iran Shoot Down a U.S. F-22, F-35 or Stealth B-2 Bomber?”, discussed the scenario and the possibility of Iran obtaining this advanced missile system, following a report by the Tasnim Agency earlier this month.
Citing the comments of the Russian ambassador to Iran, Levan Jagarian, the National Interest quoted the latter as saying: “We are not afraid of U.S. threats and we will live up to our commitments.”
It is important to note that the comments were made by Jagarian after he was asked if the Russian Ministry of Defense would sell the S-400 system to Iran. This question was in reference to the U.N. arms embargo, which is set to expire this month.
The Russian website Avia Pro said last August that the U.N. Security Council’s rejection of the U.S. demand to extend the arms embargo imposed on Iran means that Russia can, on fully legal grounds, start selling advanced weapons to the Islamic Republic, including S-400 systems.
The site said: “The restrictions imposed on the supply of weapons to Iran under the terms of the nuclear agreement will expire on October 18, 2020.”
The National Interest, meanwhile, says that Iran’s acquisition of the Russian S-400 system missiles means that it will possess advanced defense capabilities, but its ability to down stealth jets will rely on the extent to which the Russian system has been upgraded.
“What would it mean for Iran to possess advanced S-400s? The answer, it seems, relies heavily upon the extent to which the Russian-built defenses have been upgraded. The most modern S-400 variants use a new generation of digital processors, computer networking and radar-frequency detection, leading some in the Russian media to claim they are capable of destroying 5th-Gen stealth fighters and B-2 bombers,” the online publication said.
In addition to the S-400, the Iranian is also interested in several new aircraft, including the Russian Su-24 and Su-35, which would provide a major boost to their air force.
As the arms embargo expires, Iran’s interest in foreign military equipment will continue to aggravate Washington, especially at a region level in the Middle East, where the Islamic Republic has already built one of the most powerful forces.