Kerry asks about Iranian reportedly in Russia despite UN ban

AP News
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Posted: Apr 15, 2016 3:07 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State John Kerry is concerned a general of Iran's hardline Revolutionary Guard Corps may be visiting Moscow in violation of a U.N. travel ban.

Kerry raised the matter of Qassem Soleimani (kah-SEM' soh-lay-MAH'-nee) in a conversation Friday with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

But State Department spokesman John Kirby said the U.S. couldn't confirm media reports on its own that Soleimani is in the Russian capital.

Friday's claim isn't the first of a trip by Soleimani to Moscow. A previous one was never confirmed. The head of the elite Quds special forces is subject to a five-year U.N. travel ban.

Kirby said Friday that "such travel, if true, would be a violation" and a "serious matter of concern."

He didn't outline Lavrov's response to Kerry on the call.