Iran removes commander of unit protecting Ayatollah Khamenei

Amid wave of mysterious high-profile deaths, Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps continues to shake up security leadership.

By World Israel News Staff

Iran has replaced the head of its unit tasked with safeguarding the country’s Supreme Leader, the latest high-profile shakeup in Tehran’s security establishment.

On Saturday, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps announced that the commander of the IRGC’s elite Vali Amr Protection Corps, Brigadier General Ebrahim Jabbari, is to be replaced with Brigadier General Hassan Mashruifar.

Ramezan Sharif, chief spokesman for the IRGC, said that the Commander-in-Chief of the Corps, Hossein Salami, had chosen to replace Jabbari with Mashruifar.

The Vali Amr Protection Corps, a 12,000-member security force founded in the 1980s, is responsible for providing security for Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamanei.

Jabbari was tapped to lead the unit in 2010, with his removal coming on the heels on a spate of apparent assassinations against prominent IRGC officers and Iranian military scientists.

Just two days before Jabbari’s sacking, the IRGC’s longtime intelligence chief, Hossein Taeb, was replaced.

An IRGC statement said Taeb was replaced by General Mohammad Kazemi. No reason for the move was given. The statement said Taeb will serve as an advisor to Kazemi.

The reshuffling follows a string of Iranian intelligence failures over the past several weeks, both inside and outside Iranian territory.

Last week, an Iranian terror cell plotting attacks on Israelis was busted by Turkish authorities.

Earlier in June, five men aboard an Iranian plane were arrested in Argentina on suspicion of weapons smuggling.

Also in June, an Iranian ballistic missile site in western Tehran was bombed in a drone strike.

Two IRGC aerospace officers were killed in a 24-hour period, and in May, IRGC Col. Hassan Sayyad Khodaei was shot to death by unknown assailants on motorbikes who ambushed him outside of his home in central Tehran.

Khodaei was the driving force behind failed attempts to lure prominent Israelis to bogus gatherings abroad in order to kidnap them.

Iranian state-controlled media outlets downplayed the significance of the leadership changes, while the Saudi-funded Iran International cited sources familiar with the situation who claimed that Hossein Taeb was replaced due to a long-running feud with other top security officials, including Quds Force chief Esmail Ghaani.