Sunday, December 8th | 10 Kislev 5780

Subscribe
April 21, 2019 4:34 pm

Khamenei Names New Chief for Iran’s Revolutionary Guards

avatar by Reuters and Algemeiner Staff

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Photo: www.sajed.ir via Wikimedia Commons.

Iran’s top authority Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has replaced the head of the influential Revolutionary Guards Corps, state TV reported on Sunday, days after the United States designated the elite group a foreign terrorist organization.

The TV station did not give a reason for the change when it announced the appointment of Brigadier General Hossein Salami to the position and his promotion to the rank of Major General. He served as deputy commander of the Guards for years and is known for his hardline comments against Israel and the United States.

“The Supreme Leader has appointed Salami as the new commander-in-chief of the Guards, who will replace Mohammad Ali Jafari,” it said.

Major General Jafari had held the post since September 2007.

Related coverage

December 7, 2019 12:51 pm
0

Defense Secretary: US Military Has Enough Capability in Middle East for Now

US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Friday he believed the US military had sufficient capability in the Middle East...

President Donald Trump on April 8 designated the Guards a terrorist organization, in an unprecedented step that drew Iranian condemnation and raised concerns about retaliatory attacks on US forces. The designation took effect on April 15.

Tehran retaliated by naming the United States Central Command (CENTCOM) as a terrorist organization and the US government as a sponsor of terrorism.

On April 13, Salami was quoted by Iran’s semi-official Tasnim news agency as saying that he and the IRGC were proud of being designated a terrorist group by Washington.

POLITICAL CLOUT

The IRGC, created by late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini during Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution, is more than a military force. It is also an industrial empire with political clout and is loyal to the supreme leader.

Comprising an estimated 125,000-strong military with army, navy, and air units, the Guards also command the Basij, a religious volunteer paramilitary force, and control Iran’s missile programs. The Guards’ overseas Quds forces have fought Iran’s proxy wars in the region.

The IRGC is in charge of Iran’s ballistic missile and nuclear programs. Tehran has warned that it has missiles with a range of up to 2,000 kms (1,242 miles), putting Israel and US military bases in the region within reach.

Salami, born in 1960, said in January that Iran’s strategy was to wipe “the Zionist regime” (Israel) off the political map, Iran’s state TV reported.

“We announce that if Israel takes any action to wage a war against us, it will definitely lead to its own elimination,” Salami said after an Israeli attack on Iranian targets in Syria in January, Iranian media reported.

Israel sees Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs as a threat to its existence. Iran says its nuclear work is for peaceful purposes only.

Israel, which Islamic Iran refuses to recognize, backed Trump’s move in May to quit a 2015 international deal on Iran’s nuclear program and welcomed Washington’s re-imposition of sanctions on Tehran.

Share this Story: Share On Facebook Share On Twitter

Let your voice be heard!

Join the Algemeiner

Algemeiner.com

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.