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Strengthening of the IRGC's Intelligence Arm

Source: Rooz Online

Two weeks after Ayatollah Khamenei approved sweeping changes to the structure of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) and remarks by Mohammad Ali Jafari about the necessity of the IRGC's engagement in intelligence and security affairs, the website "Basirat," run by the IRGC's political affairs division, announced the imminent appointment of Gholamhossein Ramezani as the IRGC's counter-intelligence and security director.

IRGC's transformation from a military unit to a security unit began two years ago when Ayatollah Khamenei appointed Mohammad Ali Jafari (left) to head IRGC

The mouthpiece for the IRGC's political affairs division reported, "Following the transfer of Hojjatoleslam Taeb from the Basij resistance force to the IRGC intelligence unit and his replacement with Commander Naghdi, other changes are taking place in the IRGC leadership, as a result of which Hojjatoleslam Gholamhossein Ramezani will be appointed as the IRGC's counter-intelligence and security director, replacing Commander Nejat."

According to Basirat, Nejat, who in addition to being the IRGC's counter-intelligence and security director also headed the special "Vali Amr" brigade (in charge of the supreme leader's personal security), will be given a post in the National Security Council as the deputy of internal security.

Prior to his appointment as the IRGC's counter-intelligence and security director, Gholamhossein Ramezani had served as counter-intelligence and intelligence directors in both the country's police force and IRGC in various periods.

The news of changes in the IRGC's intelligence leadership is announced two weeks after the IRGC's chief Mohammad Ali Jafari announced sweeping changes to the IRGC's structure and leadership as approved by ayatollah Khamenei, also noting the institution's increasing engagement in security and intelligence affairs.  

Noting that the recent changes are approved by ayatollah Khamenei, the IRGC's chief said, "Today is the era of soft warfare, and we must be able to carry out our duties in confronting soft threats.  This requires organizational and structural changes, and the changes that have taken place in the past one and two years are in connection to this development."

Mohammad Ali Jafari also said during the appointment of Hossein Taeb as the IRGC's intelligence director, "The necessity of Mr. Taeb's service as the IRGC's intelligence director prompted us to appoint him to this post.  This is a very important post, because today the regime expects more from the IRGC in intelligence matters."

Approval of IRGC's Security Role

Prior to the official announcement of recent changes in the IRGC's leadership, some analysts had predicted that the Hossein Taeb-Gholamhossein Ramezani duo would help to construct the core of the IRGC's intelligence and security activities.  According to analysts, in addition to his ideological and professional affiliation with Taeb, Gholamhossein Ramezani has played an influential role in carrying out the recent election coup and the post-election arrests, just as he played a key role in arresting and cracking down on reformists during the presidency of Mohammad Khatami, when he served as the police force's counter-intelligence and intelligence director.

The appointment of figures such as Hossein Taeb, Mohammad Reza Naghdi and Gholamhossein Ramezani to senior intelligence posts in the IRGC's and the beginning of the second phase of changes in the institution continue the trend of IRGC's transformation from a military unit to a security unit, which began two years ago with the appointment of Mohammad Ali Jafari to head the IRGC.

The recent changes take place following wholesale dismissals in the ministry of intelligence, where, in addition to the minister, five deputy ministers and dozens of senior managers have been removed from their posts since the election.

... Payvand News - 11/04/09 ... --

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