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04/22/2019 Iran (International Christian Concern) – Just weeks after the United States designated Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei decided to replace the Guard’s Commander. General Mohammad Ali Jafari had managed the Guard for over a decade, but was replaced by deputy commander General Hossein Salami.

While appointing General Salami to his new position, Ayatollah Khamenei called for him to take the IRGC into a deeper spiritual foundation. Some interrupt this as the Ayatollah asking for greater military loyalty. It is not immediately clear why the Ayatollah made this replacement. However, General Salami has a reputation for pursuing hardline policies.

The IRGC reports directly to the Ayatollah and has deep influence throughout every level of Iranian society. Through their own intelligence service, they are tasked with protecting Iran’s Islamic identity. As such, they are greatly feared by Christians and other religious minority groups. Many Christians are arbitrarily detained, tried, and imprisoned through Iran’s Revolutionary Court system, which maintains close contact with the IRGC.

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