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Iran replaces commander of IRGC unit in charge of protecting supreme leader

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Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) appointed on Saturday a new commander for the unit responsible for protecting the country’s supreme leader, state media reported, days after the IRGC replaced its intelligence chief.

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The IRGC’s chief commander Hossein Salami appointed Hasan Mashroueifar as the new commander of the IRGC’s “Vali Amr” unit, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported, citing the IRGC’s spokesman Ramezan Sharif.

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The unit is responsible for protecting Iran’s highest authority, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

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Mashroueifar, about whom little is known, replaced Ebrahim Jabbari, who had headed the unit since 2010. Sharif did not specify whether Jabbari has been given a new role.

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The replacement of Jabbari comes days after the IRGC replaced Hossein Taeb, a powerful cleric who had served as the head of the IRGC’s Intelligence Organization since 2009.

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The surprise dismissal of Taeb came after a series of assassinations and mysterious deaths of members of the IRGC as well as other individuals associated with Iran’s military over the past few weeks.

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The close timing of the dismissals of Jabbari and Taeb, who both served in their positions for over a decade, will raise questions. Jabbari briefly served as Taeb’s deputy when Taeb headed the Basij – a paramilitary arm of the IRGC – in 2009.

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