Iranian commander’s visits to Syria violate nuclear deal and travel ban, says USBy Rudaw [ltr]6 hours ago [/ltr]
Iran’s Quds Forces commander, Qasem Soleimani in Aleppo. Photo: Tasnim News
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region—The visits of Iran’s Quds Forces commander—described by the US as an individual with a travel ban—to Syria violates the nuclear deal with Tehran and that the matter would be taken up with the UN Security Council, said State Department spokesman.
Addressing reporters in Washington on Monday, State Dept. Spokesman John Kirby said that Qasem Soleimani’s recent appearance in the Syrian city of Aleppo was against the UN Security Council Resolution 2231.
“And you’re absolutely right; his travel is a violation,” Kirby said, in response to a reporter’s question. “He’s one of the designated individuals.”
“No exemption to the travel ban was sought, and so it does constitute a violation of UNSCR 2231,” he added. “As I said, we will – we fully anticipate bringing this up inside the council.”
Kirby said that the US government would consult with the UN Security Council on Soleimani’s international ban.
“We do intend to consult with our partners on the Security Council about how to address our concerns with this,” he said. “We’ve long said that Iran needs to choose whether it’s going to play a positive role in helping peacefully resolve conflicts such as in Syria or whether it will choose to prolong them.”
Soleimani has appeared in different parts of Iraq and Syria in the last few years, commanding local forces in battle against the Islamic State (ISIS).
The controversy of the Iranian commander’s visits to Syria comes a few days after complaints from Tehran that the extension of sanctions against by the US violated the agreement it signed with the western powers in Vienna last year.
“What I would just simply repeat is that the Iran Sanctions Act was in place at the time the JCPOA was negotiated and has remained in place.” Kirby said in his press briefing. “Its extension is not a violation of the JCPOA and does not re-introduce or re-impose any nuclear-related secondary sanctions that were waived on implementation day, nor does it impose any new nuclear-related sanctions.”
He concluded: “So while we didn’t believe the act needed to be extended, its extension as written in law does not violate it. We stand by that as well as the Secretary’s intention to continue to waive as necessary,”