Iranian Revolutionary Guard Commander Qassem Soleimani walks near an armored vehicle at the frontline during offensive operations against Islamic State militants in Iraq.
(photo credit: COURTESY VIA REUTERS)
Fathollah Jamiri was appointed the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Protection Unit on Saturday, according to reports at Iran’s Tasnim news agency. The internal security unit handles protection of Iranian leaders, VIPs, vital infrastructure and airplanes, according to local reports.
The announcement was made throughout Iranian media on Saturday. Jamiri was appointed by IRGC commander Mohammed Ali Jafari and with the approval of Ayatollah Khamenei. Jamiri has been an influential IRGC commander in the Yazd province in central Iran. There he was known for giving zealous speeches supporting the Basij, a paramilitary unit within the IRGC, and speaking in glowing terms of the need to defend Iran’s 1979 revolution.
Jamiri is otherwise not a well known or public individual and he is not widely known in the West. Rumors online claimed he was brought in after an internal scandal in which the former head of security was said to have leaked information to “foreign” governments. Jamiri has in the past also been appointed to sensitive positions in the IRGC’s Imam Sadeq unit in Bushehr province.
The IRGC is in the spotlight after the US labeled it a terrorist organization. It has also been playing a key role in organizing flood relief amid a crises in Iran. The IRGC is a large organization with multiple branches. It has played a role in Iran’s role in Iraq and Syria and it has also developed its own ballistic missile capabilities. As such Jamiri’s role is important not only for the IRGC but also to protect the regime.
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