Iran appoints new IRGC spy chief as tensions rise in Israel | News

No reasons were given as to why Hossein Taeb, now an advisor to the Supreme Commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, was replaced.

Tehran, Iran – Iran has appointed a new commander to lead the powerful intelligence agency of its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), with no reason given as to why the previous chief left the job.

Ramezan Sharif, spokesman for the elite force, announced in a statement on Thursday that Hossein Taeb has been replaced by Mohammad Kazemi, who previously headed the Intelligence Protection Organization, the IRGC’s counterintelligence arm.

Taeb, 59, who previously served as a senior figure at Iran’s intelligence ministry, joined the IRGC in the late 2000s and was appointed head of the paramilitary Basij organization in 2008.

A year later, the IRGC’s intelligence unit was formed and Taeb took over, a position he held until his replacement was announced.

No reason was given for Taeb’s departure on Thursday by the IRGC spokesman, who said only that Taeb had been appointed as an adviser to the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. Hossein Salamic

The news came online after two days of rumors that Taeb had been fired from his position. No Iranian official commented on the speculation.

Taeb’s replacement comes days after Israeli media reported he was behind an alleged… Iranian plot to kill or kidnap Israeli tourists in Turkey.

Israel upped its travel advice for Istanbul to the highest alert level earlier this month and said civilians could be the target of Iranian attempts to kill or kidnap Israelis vacationing in Turkey.

Dying Nuclear Deal

In July 2021, the Reuters news agency reported, citing unnamed Iraqi sources, that Taeb led an IRGC delegation to Baghdad and advised Shia militias to step up attacks on US targets without going too far.

Tensions between Iran and the United States across the region have escalated significantly since Washington unilaterally renounced Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers in 2018 and imposed heavy sanctions that are maintained to this day.

The January 2020 murder of Qassem Soleimanic — the influential commander of the IRGC’s Quds Force — took tensions to new heights by the US.

Iran and the US have so far failed to reach an agreement to restore the nuclear deal, and whether a US-imposed “foreign terrorist organization” designation by the US will be lifted is one of the most important. bottlenecks.

Iran’s standoff with Israel, which strongly opposes the nuclear deal, has also deteriorated significantly as nuclear talks have stalled in recent months.

Various IRGC personnel have been murdered in recent months, but Iran has not blamed them all. However, it has accused Israel and promised revenge for the murder of IRGC Quds Force Colonel Hassan Sayyad Khodaei, who was killed in a drive-by shooting in Tehran in late May.

A court in Tehran on Thursday ordered the United States to pay $4.3 billion in punitive and compensatory damages to the families of various Iranian nuclear scientists who have been murdered in recent years. The court said the US government assisted Israel in the killings.

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