Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has appointed Brig. Gen. Esmail Gha’ani as the new commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force.
Gha’ani will be replacing Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani who was assassinated by the U.S. in the Iraqi capital Baghdad in the early morning of January 3.
In an official statement, Khamenei noted that Gha’ani was one of the prominent commanders during the war with Iraq and that he accompanied Maj. Gen. Soleimani in the past several years in the region.
“The plan of the force will exactly be the same as the plan during martyr Soleimani’s tenure,” the statement reads.
Brig. Gen. Gha’ani, 62, was the deputy of late Maj. Gen. Soleimani for several years. In 2012, he was added to the U.S. Treasury’s Specially Designated Nationals list.
Senior Iranian officials, including the Supreme leader, had vowed to avenge the assassination of Maj. Gen. Soleimani. The quick appointment of Brig. Gen. Gha’ani as the new commander of the Quds Force indicates that Tehran may be planning to respond very soon.