The National, Michael Theodoulou, Foreign Correspondent — Iran’s supreme leader has replaced the head of the feared Basij militia with a highly controversial figure from the elite Revolutionary Guards, prompting fears that he intends to make the closely affiliated forces more effective in cracking down on the opposition.
The move was part of a shuffle of several Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) commanders decreed by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Sunday. Officials gave no reason for the changes. The key one involved two men notorious for their harsh treatment of dissenters.
Brig Gen Mohammad Reza Naqdi, who is close to Ayatollah Khamenei, replaced Hossein Taeb, a mid-ranking cleric, as commander of the Basij (Mobilisation) force. Mr Taeb in turn is reported to have been appointed director of intelligence at the IRGC.
“Most ruthless generals in charge of institutions of suppression,” read the headline in yesterday’s Rooz Online, an Iranian news website critical of the regime. more here…