|Vladimir Putin & Qassam Soleimani|
However, Moscow currently appears to be bolstering - rather than downgrading - its defence ties with Tehran. It has already agreed to supply S-300 long-range air defence systems, although the deal has yet to be finalised. In another sign of improving relations, two Russian Buyan-class patrol boats arrived at the Iranian Caspian Sea port of Bandar Anzali on 10 August.General Soleimani is a VIP in realpolitik terms, not in your celebrity media sense. From a 2013 story in The New Yorker:
Iran's General Qassem Soleimani reportedly visited Russia in July to meet Putin and Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu. The Kremlin has denied the visit took place: an unsurprising move given that it would have violated the UN travel ban imposed on Gen Soleimani.
Gen Soleimani commands the Qods Force, which supports Iranian-allied groups across the region, so might be interested in acquiring more Russian guided anti-tank missiles that can be transferred to Iraqi Shia militias to be used against Islamic State vehicle suicide bombs and to Yemen's Ansar Allah group so it can knock out more Saudi armoured vehicles on the border.
“The battlefield is mankind’s lost paradise—the paradise in which morality and human conduct are at their highest,” he says. “One type of paradise that men imagine is about streams, beautiful maidens, and lush landscape. But there is another kind of paradise—the battlefield.”Who's Your Daddy? Part 1.