The Supreme Leader Khamenei decided to appoint Brigadier Gen. Abdolrahim Mousavi as new Deputy Chief of Staff of Iranian Armed Forces. He replaces the General Gholam Ali Rashid, who was appointed as the news commander of the Khatam-al Anbiya Headquarters. The nomination of Brigader Gen. Mousavi, arrives after the replacement of the Chief of Staf of Iranian Armed Forces Maj. Gen. Hassan Firouzabadi with Maj. Gen. Mohammad Bagheri.
These two nominations are very important and both of them could represent a message to Rouhani (and Zarif). Bagheri, as well known, said that
“Baghdad, the sacred shrines, and the burial places of the pure Imams in Iraq are all the Islamic Republic’s red lines…if these are endangered, the Islamic Republic will enter action directly and will annihilate the wicked with diligent and strong defense”.
Maj. Gen. Bagheri held a senior post in the Khatam-al Anbiya Construction Base, which represent the core of the IRGC’s economic interests.
Brigadier Gen. Abdolrahim Mousavi was the one that, in April 2016, revealed the deeply involvement of the Artesh (the Iranian Army) in Syria. He said:
“it is not just the [65th] NOHED Brigade and special operation forces that are serving as advisors in Syria. A number of personnel from this brigade along with volunteers from other Artesh brigades are serving as advisors in Syria. Mousavi also added that the Artesh and the Pasdaran “will be alongside each other whenever it is necessary”.
The two nomination could be a message from Khamenei to whom, inside the regime, is promoting a step back of the IRGC and the Artesh, from the involvement in Syria and Iraq.