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Change of leadership at the Revolutionary Guards

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The elite unit of the Iranian armed forces has a new commander. Ayatollah Khamenei named the 58-year-old hardliner Salami head of the Revolutionary Guards. The reasons remain unclear.

Iran’s supreme leader has appointed a new commander of the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC). Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, according to a report by the state broadcaster IRIB, appointed 58-year-old General Hussein Salami for the post. The former IRGC vice commander, who is considered to be a hardliner, replaces Mohamed Ali Dschafari, who has led the Revolutionary Guards since 2007. The reason for the change of leadership was not informed in the TV report.

Salami served as IRGC vice coordinator for the Revolutionary Guards. He is against the reform policy of President Hassan Rouhani, especially against his policy of detente with the West – and thus against the Vienna nuclear agreement. Salami is also known for his sharp threats against Israel.

From the US future classified as a terrorist organization

The Revolutionary Guards are the elite unit of the armed forces in Iran and far more important than the classical army. They are under the direct control of Khamenei. The US government announced at the beginning of the month that it would classify the Revolutionary Guards as a foreign terrorist organization.

The Iranian leadership condemned the move and in turn declared the US a terrorist sponsor. In addition, it put the US Central Command Centcom, which leads the American troops in the Middle East, on a list of terrorist organizations.