Tuesday, May 27, 2008

More Changes in Passdaran Revolutionary Guards

Hejazi to Succeed Rezai
Arash SigarchiLess than two years since the changes that were made by ayatollah Khamenei in the ‎leadership of the Passdaran Revolutionary Guards Corps, that involved deputy Passdaran ‎Commander Morteza Rezai, the vast changes that were launched by the Leader of Iran in ‎the Passdaran force that began in the middle of last year continue. In the most recent ‎change, Passdar General seyed Mohammad Hosseinzadeh Hejazi replaced Rezai, ‎indicating that the reshuffling still continues also confirming that Rezai was merely a ‎temporary appointment. The deputy Passdar Commander is appointed by the ‎confirmation of the Leader of the Islamic state on the recommendation of the ‎Commander of the Passdaran.‎

Simultaneously, ayatollah Khamenei also appointed a new deputy for coordination of ‎Passdaran force. ‎
On November 24th, 2006 Mohammad Bagher Zolghadr left the Passdaran and joined ‎Ahmadinejad’s administration to become the vice minister for security at the ministry of ‎the interior. That situation changed “in a suspicious manner”, in the words of Etemad ‎newspaper on December 8, 2006, leading to his resignation. When Zolghadr left, ‎ayatollah Khamenei appointed Morteza Rezai as the new deputy commander of the ‎Passdaran. While this change was important, observers underscored the importance of the ‎change when ayatollah Khamenei last year removed Yahya Rahim Safavi who had been ‎the commander of the Passdaran for 8 consecutive years and replaced him with ‎Mohammad Ali Jaafari.‎

It was in light of these reshuffles that ayatollah Khamenei ordered that Basij para-military ‎resistance force come under the full command of the Passdaran thus reducing the force to ‎the deputy level under Passdaran.‎

Because ayatollah Khamenei did not appoint a successor for Zolghadr when he left the ‎Passdaran post for the ministry of the interior, rumors spread that he was not keen on ‎appointing Morteza Reza to the vacant post at the Passdaran. But in May of 2006, ‎Khamenei made that appointment and put Rezai in the number two seat of the force.‎

Morteza Rezai is among the seven individuals who 2 days into the victory of the 1979 ‎revolution raised the idea creating a Passdaran Revolutionary Guards force. Of the seven, ‎most were either been killed in the war or left the Passdaran such as Mohsen Rezai who ‎is now in the State Expediency Council. But Mohsen Rezai stayed on for years as the ‎head of the Passdaran’s intelligence unit and remains, according to observers, to be ‎among the most powerful commanders of the force.‎

Still, with this recent appointment by ayatollah Khamenei, Mohsen Rezai gives his post ‎to Hejazi, who is viewed to be very close to the Leader of the Islamic regime.‎

Hejazi is not unknown to the reformists. When the reformers were in power, Hejazi was ‎in charge of the para-military Basij force and many of them view him to be responsible ‎for the headaches of the Khatami administration. He has been held responsible for ‎supporting the idea of the Basij intruding into political issues, and passively supporting ‎the participation of Basij members in strike groups known as Ansare Hezbollah.‎

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