It seems that Iran has a specific criteria for its military chiefs, to be as bloody as possible; which appears clearly in its recent appointment, Hossein Salami.
The new Commander-in-Chief of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Hossein Salami, is no different from his predecessor, the hard-liner Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, when it comes to controversial statements and policies.
Salami, 59, joined the recently designated terrorist group IRGC in 1980 at the age of 22 in the wake of Iran–Iraq war. The new commander is known for his frequent boasting of Iran’s military capabilities, making threatening statements towards the neighbouring states. A move that stands as a challenge to the US designation of the elite Iranian guards as terrorist organisation.
When the United States decided to designate IRGC a terrorist organisation, Salami reportedly said that the new designation makes him feel “proud,” according to Radio Farda. Many observers expect a bigger role of IRGC in the Middle East, based on conspiracy and shady tactics, given the history of Major General Salami.
Salami is a constant braggart of Iranian missiles that can target the neighbouring states and beyond, into Europe. His rhetoric has always claimed that Iranian military forces can match and exceed those of the United States and Russia.
At a sermon in Tehran that was aired on IRIB TV on July 1st, 2016, Salami stated that "Today, more than ever, there is fertile ground – with the grace of God – for the annihilation, the wiping out, and the collapse of the Zionist regime.”
Salami’s ranks have included several hawkish Iranian entities such as Commander of 25th Karbala Division, 14th Imam Hossein Division, Noah Headquarters, IRGC University of Command and Staff, Operations deputy of IRGC Joint Staff and Commander of IRGC Air Force. It is hard to say that Salami’s appointment could pacify the already heated situation in the Middle East.
Jafari, on the other hand, gained a reputation as being a staunch defender of the religious Iranian regime that rose to power in 1979 following the ouster of the Pahlavi dynasty. The former commander of the IRGC joined the Basij paramilitary force amid the Iran-Iraq war, he later joined the IRGC in 1981.
The extremist commander had always asserted the Iranian military presence in Syria, stating that there are no intentions to withdraw the Iranian military advisors, forces, and weapons to help the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government.
The Iranian existence in Syria, along with Russia and the terrorist group of Hezbollah has complicated the conflict in Syria leaving more than 400,000 people dead, displacing millions, according to Radio Free Europe.
Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, on Sunday replaced the head of IRGC, Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, with Major General, Hossein Salami, days after the United States designated the IRGC a terrorist organization.