Iran’s new IRGC commander consolidates power with media support

This comes amid a growing scandal within the IRGC that has led to several high profile replacements.

April 22, 2019 13:37
2 minute read.
Hossein Salami, deputy head of Iran's Revolutionary Guard

Hossein Salami, deputy head of Iran's Revolutionary Guard. (photo credit: REUTERS/MORTEZA NIKOUBAZL)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


Iran’s regime appointed Hossein Salami the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) on Sunday, a decision that is being closely watched across Iran, the region and the world. To signal the support for the decision to remove the former IRGC commander Mohammed Ali Jafari and bring in Salami, the press in Iran is rushing to praise the new leader.

Abroad, Salami is seen as “hardline” and “fiery,” a fierce critic of the US, Israel and Europe, a man of threats and bragging who is known to frequently boast about the power of Iran and the IRGC to destroy Israel and other countries. At home, the regime – particularly Ayatollah Khamenei – wants people to know he has the full support of the country.

This comes amid a growing scandal within the IRGC that has led to several high profile replacements. It also comes after the Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had feigned resignation in February in order to cement his own power. In short, the Iranian government is illustrating that it is not a monolith and that it knows it faces major challenges abroad and at home. Recent flooding has deeply harmed Iran domestically, while abroad Iran is seeking to put on a powerful face with meetings in Iraq, Syria and Turkey and hosting Pakistan’s Prime Minister.

On Iran’s Tasnim news, the new IRGC commander received five of the top stories. There were stories about the IRGC getting around US sanctions, praise for the Salami appointment as a “message to our enemies,” congratulations from various provinces, a review of the IRGC’s activities, photos of the IRGC with the supreme leader and a review of the history of the IRGC. Fars News has an article about Salami and the international role of the IRGC, and state news agency IRNA had articles about the constitutional role of the IRGC and the president congratulating Salami on his appointment. Zarif had already congratulated Salami on Sunday.

The picture that is emerging is that in the wake of the US designation of the IRGC as a foreign terrorist organization, the Iranian regime wants to show off just how influential and important the IRGC is in Iran. It also wants to show it has near total backing across the regime and throughout the country. The need to show this indicates that the regime is not entirely sure of itself, because if the IRGC was as strong as they make it appear, then there would be no need to boast and burnish its image. The idea is to give Salami a boost as he comes into office. So far, it appears to be working.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speaks to supporters in Pittsburgh
May 25, 2019
Bernie Sanders refuses to apologize for condemning armed conflict with Iran