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Iran replaces security chief Shamkhani with IRGC official

Ali Shamkhani was heavily involved in Iranian foreign policy and will be replaced by a senior member of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
Ali Shamkhani (R), the secretary of the Supreme National Security Council of Iran extends his hand to Emmanuel Bonne (L), diplomatic advisor to the French president, in the Iranian capital Tehran on July 10, 2019. - Iran has breached a uranium enrichment cap set by a troubled 2015 nuclear deal and warned Europe against taking retaliatory measures, as France decided to send an envoy to Tehran to try to calm tensions. (Photo by ATTA KENARE / AFP) (Photo credit should read ATTA KENARE/AFP via Getty Images)

Iran has replaced its top security official Ali Shamkhani, state media outlets reported on Monday, after nearly 10 years in the post. The longtime security head and interlocutor with neighboring countries has been replaced with an official from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi appointed Ali Akbar Ahmadian as the new secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported on Monday.

The agency did not specify why Shamkhani left the position, simply reporting that he was “replaced.” Reuters reported that Shamkhani, 67, may be considered for a different position. Later in the day, Iran's supreme leader, the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, tweeted that Shamkhani has been named to the Expediency Council. This is an advisory council that reports to the ayatollah.

Ahmadian, 62, heads the IRGC’s Strategic Center and is likewise a member of the Expediency Council. Ahmadian also served as the commander of the IRGC navy from 1997 to 2000 and as the IRGC’s chief of staff for seven years, according to the IRGC-affiliated Tasnim News Agency.

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