Iran’s supreme leader has appointed a former F-14 Tomcat pilot and veteran of the 1980s Iran-Iraq war as the new commander of the country’s air force, Iranian media are reporting.
The official IRNA news agency on August 19 said that Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has named Brigadier General Aziz Nasirzadeh as the new air force chief.
Nasirzadeh has been the air force's acting commander since 2017. He succeeds General Hassan Shahsafi, who assumed the post in 2008.
Officials said the move was made as part of a routine reshuffling of military leaders.
Nasirzadeh flew U.S.-made F-14 Tomcats, which Iran begin purchasing from the United States in 1976, before the country’s 1979 Islamic Revolution, which led to the breaking of ties between the two countries.
Many of the Tomcat pilots at the time received training in the United States, although it was not reported if Nasirzadeh had done so.