Iran replaces powerful chief of Guards' intelligence unit - state TV

Iranian state media did not give a reason but state TV said Taeb would become an adviser to the Guards' Commander-in-Chief Hossein Salami.

Members of a special IRGC force attend a rally marking the annual Quds Day, or Jerusalem Day, on the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan in Tehran, Iran, April 29, 2022. (photo credit: MAJID ASGARIPOUR/WANA (WEST ASIA NEWS AGENCY) VIA REUTERS)
Members of a special IRGC force attend a rally marking the annual Quds Day, or Jerusalem Day, on the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan in Tehran, Iran, April 29, 2022.
(photo credit: MAJID ASGARIPOUR/WANA (WEST ASIA NEWS AGENCY) VIA REUTERS)

Iran has dismissed the powerful chief of the Revolutionary Guards' intelligence unit, Hossein Taeb, Iranian state TV said on Thursday, after a series of high-profile incidents Tehran has blamed on its arch-foe Israel.

Iranian state media did not give a reason but state TV said Taeb would become an adviser to the Guards' Commander-in-Chief Hossein Salami. Taeb will be replaced by Mohammad Kazemi, previously head of the Guards' Intelligence Protection unit.

The Islamic Republic, which refuses to recognize Israel, has long accused "the Zionist regime" of sabotaging Iran's nuclear sites and killing scientists and senior commanders inside Iran.

In May, Iran blamed Israel for the killing of senior commander Sayyad Khodaei, the most high profile assassination inside Iran since the 2020 killing of nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, which Tehran also blamed on Israel.

Israel has not denied or accepted responsibility, but Iran's inability to thwart those attacks has exposed security gaps which suggest the Islamic Republic remains vulnerable in future.

Members of special IRGC forces attend a rally marking the annual Quds Day, or Jerusalem Day, on the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan in Tehran, Iran, April 29, 2022. (credit: MAJID ASGARIPOUR/WANA (WEST ASIA NEWS AGENCY) VIA REUTERS)Members of special IRGC forces attend a rally marking the annual Quds Day, or Jerusalem Day, on the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan in Tehran, Iran, April 29, 2022. (credit: MAJID ASGARIPOUR/WANA (WEST ASIA NEWS AGENCY) VIA REUTERS)

Taeb, a mid-ranking cleric and a member of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's inner circle, was accused by some Israeli media of being behind an alleged Iranian plot to kill or abduct Israelis vacationing in Turkey. Israel raised its Istanbul travel advisory to the highest alert level on June 13.

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid thanked Turkey on Thursday for helping foil the Iranian plot in Istanbul and said the security effort was still underway.

Before becoming the Guards Intelligence Chief in 2009, Taeb worked in Khamenei's office.