Thursday, August 25, 2005

Iran Names New Head Of Air Forces In Revolutionary Guards

Dow Jones Newswires:
Iran appointed a new chief for the air force component of the country's elite Revolutionary Guards Thursday. Gen. Alireza Zahedi, a veteran of the 1980-88 war with Iraq, was named commander of the Guards' air forces, Iran's state-run radio said. READ MORE

Zahedi replaced Gen. Ahmad Kazemi, who was given command of the Guards' ground forces two weeks ago, the radio reported, quoting a decree by Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Khamenei had instructed Zahedi to "improve efficiency" of the air forces, the report added.

The Revolutionary Guards are a military organization separate from the regular armed forces. Founded after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, the Guards have air, naval and ground components.

The Guards' air force flies mostly Russian-made MIG, Sukhoi and Ilyushin aircraft.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who was inaugurated earlier this month, is a former commander in the Guards.