In blatant violation of the United Nations Security Council restrictions concerning his overseas travel, Iranian General Qasem Soleimani traveled to Russia to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin last month, multiple reports have confirmed.
Soleimani’s continuous freedom of movement has called into question the effectiveness of the Iranian deal that the Obama administration negotiated with the Mullahs in Tehran. As part of the final deal between Iran and world powers, Soleimani had personal sanctions against him dropped.
The UN Security Council has upheld a travel ban and asset freezes on Soleimani since 2007, when the international body voted to sanction the IRGC.
Soleimani reportedly traveled to Russia in late July, where he discussed the status of Iran’s incoming Russian-made S-300 surface-to-air missile shipments. He and Vladimir Putin also held discussions on how Tehran and Moscow could improve bilateral relations, according to reports.
The Kremlin has denied that such a meeting took place, according to Russia’s state-operated RIA news agency.
After a UN meeting in Syria on the situation, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power said the Obama administration is “tracking down the facts” about Soleimani’s overseas travel.
The United States Treasury Department has twice sanctioned Soleimani for his involvement with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps-Quds Force (IRGC-QF), which he commands. The group has been described as “the primary conduit for Iran’s support” of the Assad regime in Syria. The Soleimani-led militant arm of the regime is credited with arming, financing, and training U.S.-designated international terrorist organizations, such as Hezbollah and Hamas.
Soleimani’s IRGC has been described as an organization that is “drenched in American blood.” The revolutionary arm of the Tehran regime has been credited with manufacturing and delivering Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) into the hands of America’s enemies during the war in Iraq. Additionally, a Pentagon document has shown that Iran was directly responsible for the deaths of at least 500 American servicemen during the war in Iraq, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said in a recent hearing.