The head of Iran's powerful Quds Force has been quoted as saying the Islamic State (IS) group is nearing its demise.
General Qassem Suleimani was quoted by Fars news agency as saying in a ceremony on February 11, "Considering the heavy defeats suffered by [IS militants] and other terrorist groups in Iraq and Syria, we are certain these groups are nearing the end of their lives."
Suleimani, who has reportedly been near the front line against the IS group, has frequently been pictured on social media in Iraq with pro-government forces in battle areas.
Iran supports the Shi'ite-led government in Baghdad, and is a key ally of the regime in Damascus.
Iran, however, is not part of U.S.-led air campaign that strikes IS targets in Iraq and Syria.
The Quds Force -- the foreign wing of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards -- conducts sensitive security functions abroad, including intelligence, special operations, and political action deemed necessary to protect the Islamic republic.