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A New Military Chief Rises in Iran

Jul 8, 2016 | 09:00 GMT
A New Military Chief Rises in Iran
IRGC Maj. Gen. Mohammad Hossein Bagheri has taken charge of Iran's military establishment, a move that could indicate a heightened security threat to the country.
(Tasnim News/Wikimedia Commons)

Bogged down in regional conflicts and faced with renewed militancy at home, Iran is looking to shore up its military strength. To that end, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has placed an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commander at the head of the country's complex military establishment. Maj. Gen. Mohammad Hossein Bagheri took office as the new chief of the Armed Forces General Staff on July 5, marking the first time that the IRGC's leader has filled the position. Because the IRGC is widely perceived to be the best-equipped and best-trained branch of the Iranian military, the country's leaders may be hoping to bring the rest of the defense forces up to speed by having them follow the IRGC's example. But another motive could be behind the promotion. Iran's economy is opening up as a result of the country's recent nuclear deal with the West, and some of Iran's most powerful...

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