The Kremlin has denied Iranian media reports that the commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) General Qasem Soleimani, met with Russian President Vladimir Putin for talks in Moscow earlier in December – despite facing a UN travel ban.
Iran’s FARS news agency said Soleimani and Putin met for talks on Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Lebanon.
When asked whether a meeting between the Putin and Soleimani took place, Putin’s spokesman Dimtry Peskov on December 16 said “No, there wasn’t.”
Soleimani is one of several Iranian officials targeted by a 2007 UN travel ban due to alleged links to Iran’s nuclear or ballistic missile programs.
In August, Washington expressed concern about U.S. media reports saying Soleimani visited Moscow in July after a deal was reached with world powers on Iran’s nuclear program.
The Kremlin downplayed those reports, saying on August 14 that Soleimani had not visited Moscow the previous week.
Despite the nuclear deal, sanctions against Soleimani remain in effect.