MESOP EAST KURDISTAN Iran : Commander of Armed Forces Suddenly Replaced

29 June 2016 – By Scot Lucas – eaworldview – The commander of Iran’s armed forces, General Hassan Firouzabadi, has suddenly been replaced by the Supreme Leader.No reason was given for Tuesday’s removal of Firouzabadi, who had been Chief of Staff since 1989. He was replaced by his deputy, General Mohammad Bagheri, a member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.

The change may have been prompted by health concerns over Firoiuzabadi, who has long struggled with obesity.However, the naming of Bagheri will prompt discussion of the Revolutionary Guards’ ascendancy over the Iranian military. The new Chief of Staff was once the IRGC’s deputy commander of intelligence and operations. He has also been the head of the Armed Forces General Staff for joint affairs.

There could also be political ramifications: Firouzabadi was one of the few high-level military supporters of President Hassan Rouhani and was a leading voice in support of the July 2015 nuclear agreement and its implementation. Firouzabadi has been appointed as senior military advisor to the Supreme Leader.