Did the top Iranian general visit Moscow again?

Iranian media reports that Qassem Soleimani visited Russia and met Putin. The Kremlin denies the reports.

Elad Benari,

Qassem Soleimani
Qassem Soleimani
Reuters

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov denied on Wednesday media reports that Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian general Qassem Soleimani had met in Moscow last week.

"No, there was no [such a meeting]," Peskov told reporters, according to the Russian Sputnik news agency.

Earlier, Iran’s semiofficial Fars news agency reported that Soleimani, who serves as the commander of foreign operations for Tehran's elite Revolutionary Guards, had met Putin last week.

According to the Iranian news agency, Soleimani held talks in Moscow with Putin and senior military and security officials.

If the reports are accurate, this would mark the second time in recent months that Soleimani has visited Russia - and also the second time Russia has denied such a visit took place.

Soleimani is one of several Iranian officials targeted by a 2007 United Nations travel ban because of their alleged links to Iran’s nuclear or ballistic missile programs, but the sanctions against him are due to be lifted in the event the Iran nuclear deal is implemented.

Soleimani has also been sighted visiting Iranian-backed forces in Iraq, Shiite and Kurdish units fighting the Islamic State (ISIS) alongside government forces.

There were recently conflicting reports about whether or not Soleimani was wounded in fighting in the Syrian city of Aleppo.




top