THAT DIDN’T TAKE LONG: Iranian Quds chief visited Russia despite UN travel ban
Iranian source says head of the Revolutionary Guards’ elite Quds Force met Putin in Russia, where they reportedly discussed complex missile systems delivery.
The head of Iran’s elite military Quds Force, who is subject to a United Nations travel ban, has met senior Russian officials in Moscow, an Iranian official said on Friday.
Qassem Soleimani, chief of the force which is an overseas arm of the Revolutionary Guards, has been subject to an international travel ban and asset freeze by the UN Security Council since 2007.
But the Iranian official, who declined to be identified, said Soleimani had made the trip in the second half of July, where he had held talks covering regional and bilateral issues and the delivery to Iran of S-300 surface-to-air missiles and other weapons.
Following the claim, US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power said the United States was trying to determine whether Soleimani had made the purported visit.
Power said the travel ban requires all countries deny Soleimani entry into their borders, and the only exception is if the Security Council committee monitoring sanctions against Iran grants an exemption.
Soleimani had arrived in Moscow on July 24 and met President Vladimir Putin and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu before departing three days later, Fox News reported on Thursday.
A Kremlin spokesman denied any meeting between Soleimani and Putin had taken place, RIA news agency reported.
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