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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Iranian Bypasses Travel Ban

TEHRAN, Iran -- An Iranian Revolutionary Guard general whose travel was restricted by the UN Security Council has visited Russia without any difficulty, Iranian state television reported on its web site Monday.

General Mohammad Baqer Zolqadr, who is also deputy interior minister for security affairs, was one of 15 Iranians listed in Resolution 1747 that the Security Council approved unanimously on March 24 to punish Iran for failing to stop enrichment of uranium -- a process that can produce the material for nuclear bombs.

Zolqadr was quoted on the state television web site as saying that his six-day journey to Moscow, which ended Monday, showed "the ineffectiveness of the resolution."

The resolution calls on all governments to ban visits by the 15 individuals and says that should such visits occur -- presumably for exceptional circumstances -- the countries should notify a UN committee.

"Despite Resolution 1747, which imposed a travel ban on some members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, including me, I traveled to Russia and no restriction was applied," Zolqadr said.

In Moscow, Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrei Krivtsov confirmed that Zolqadr had visited Russia. But he said the Security Council resolution did not prohibit visits by listed individuals, it called only for heightened vigilance. "This vigilance is directed first of all at people who are directly related to the nuclear program," Krivtsov said, implying that Zolqadr was not.

Zolqadr pointed out that Russia had voted for the UN restrictions on Iran.

Zolqadr said he was invited by the Federal Border Guard Service and that he discussed cooperation on border control and relief for natural disasters.