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Iran leader appoints new head of revolutionary guards

AFP  |  Tehran 

Iran's Ayatollah has appointed a new of the Revolutionary Guards, the country's ideological military force, Khamenei's official website reported late Sunday.

Hossein Salami, 58, replaces Mohammad Ali Jafari, who had headed the since September 2007.

The move comes less than two weeks after the branded as a "foreign terrorist organisation", adding it to a blacklist.

"Considering your capabilities and significant experience with different revolutionary responsibilities ... I promote you to and commander-in-chief of the Revolutionary Guards," Khamenei's statement read.

Salami, who had served as of the corps for nine years, is a veteran of the 1980-88 Iran-war. He had also led the corps' airforce before becoming the second-in-command.

The shuffle was caused by the "necessity of a change in Sepah's (the Guards' Farsi name) leadership" requested by Jafari himself, according to the leader.

Born in 1957 and majoring in architecture before the 1979 Islamic revolution, Jafari became a member of the in 1981 and was promoted to the corps' in 2007.

Quoted by ultraconservative agency, then advised Israel's in October "to practice swimming in the because soon you will have no choice, but flee into the sea."

also reportedly said that day that could be destroyed by Iran's Lebanese ally Hezbollah.

"They are not at the level of being a threat for us. Hezbollah is enough for destroying them," quoted him as saying.

Formed shortly after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, the are estimated to be about 125,000 strong by the for Strategic Studies (IISS).

They answer to Khamenei and boast their own ground, naval and air forces.

Working in parallel to the regular army, the corps' mission is to "guard the (Islamic) revolution and its achievements" as well as "to realise holy ideals and to propagate the rule of God's law".

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, April 21 2019. 23:35 IST