Jennifer Griffin Exclusive: Iranian General Defied Int'l Sanctions, Visited Russia
Jennifer Griffin reported exclusively on "Special Report" that a top Iranian general visited Russia late last month in defiance of international sanctions.
Qassem Soleimani arrived in Moscow on July 24 and left two days later after meeting with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and President Vladimir Putin.
The visit came a week before Secretary of State John Kerry testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee, making the case for the Iran nuclear agreement.
He stated at the hearing that sanctions against Soleimani, including a travel ban, will never be lifted.
Soleimani is increasingly being recognized as a key player and point person as Iranian influence in the region grows, despite assurances from Kerry and others that Soleimani and the Quds Force will continue to face sanctions from the U.S. Treasury after U.N. sanctions are lifted against Soleimani as part of the nuclear deal.
Soleimani arrived in Moscow on Air Iran flight #5130, a commercial flight from Tehran, at 6:50 a.m. on July 24, a Friday. He left Moscow the following Sunday, July 26, at 10:25 p.m. on flight #5120, according to Western intelligence sources.
U.N. sanctions have not yet been lifted against Iran, and Soleimani, as head of the Iranian Quds Force is sanctioned as part of Security Council Resolution 1747. He is prohibited to travel, and any country that lets him transit or travel is defying the sanctions. (Russia is a permanent member of the Security Council and would have been aware of this restriction when meeting with him.)
Watch the report above.