Washington's claims concerning an alleged recent visit to Russia by Iranian General Qasem Soleimani were based only on unconfirmed media reports, a diplomatic source in Moscow told reporters.
"It appears that it was an article by a Western correspondent that contains a reference from an Iranian source who asked not to be named. References to anonymous sources as official statements of the state are a new word in diplomatic practice. Now we will know this," the source said.
The United States claimed earlier that General Soleimani, who is on the UN Security Council's sanctions list, had recently visited Russia. However, U.S. Department of State spokesman John Kirby said later that he was unable to confirm these reports.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, for his part, dismissed the reports about Soleimani's recent visit to Moscow as rumors.
"These rumors have been commented on and there is nothing to add about this particular episode in a chain of suspicions from our American colleagues. Rumors are just rumors," Lavrov said.
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