Iran does not need a lot. It just needs enough to make the enemy consider the high cost of intervention and the cascade affect of their actions.There were statements from General Esmaili a few years back regarding Iran achieving 3000 air defense nodes through out the country by 1400 solar hejira. Considering the covid setbacks, how far along do you suppose the national air defense grid has come in this endeavour?
So far, U.S. got some - yes "some" deterrence from Sullemani Assassination reaction, BUT not enough to be a worthwhile deterrence.
They feel they got rid of Iran's #2 and as soon as Khamanei is gone, they feel they are in a driving seat that would topple Iran.
Iran needs to start planning (if it hasn't already) and PROMOTING --- T O D A Y ---- for :
Islamic Republic of Iran 2.0
If don't have any ideas on how to do that, then they are really ****ed.
Iran's air defense is good enough. They just need MORE in quantities.
Iran also DOES NOT NEED the best fighter jets. I have said this before, all they need is AIRBORNE AIR DEFENCE platform, i,e, a fighter jet that can carry 8 long range air to air missiles that can hit fighter jets and cruise missiles and UAV/UCAVs from long distance.
A modified F-14 with good enough turbojet engines would do (even AL-21F), and a long range radar such as Irbis-S that has 25kw power with solid state power amplifiers. They can had a FLIR with liquid nitrogen for cooling. These are not high tech and something Iran can do.
For the Americans and their genocidal allies and supporters and warmongers ... these are significant enough (adding to Iran's ballistic missiles) to make the whole idea of war/battle with Iran almost unworthy and too costly.
Iran should not let perfection be the enemy of "good enough". Iran does not need range, for its OWN DEFENCE. It has 50+years of airborne tanker experience, and airborne refueling.