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 organisation.
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.
President Donald Trump on April 8 designated the Guards a terrorist organisation, 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 organisation 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.