The former deputy of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Intelligence Organization has been appointed as the operational commander of its base in Tehran, tasked to defend the capital.
Brigadier-General Hossein Nejat has replaced Mohammad Kowsari, who was the operational commander of the Sarallah base in the capital since June 2017. The new appointment was announced by Fars and Tasnim news agencies close to the IRGC on June 21.
Nejat was in charge of protecting Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei for almost a decade in the 2000s.
The IRGC Intelligence Organization and the Sarallah base are the two most important outfits of the Revolutionary Guard and the Islamic Republic security apparatus. While the intelligence unit has increasingly become the main power center persecuting opponents, the Sarallah base goes into action when serious protests takes place.
Sarallah is tasked with keeping Tehran secure. It is the most important IRGC ground force HQ in Iran consisting of several of its most important units, which protect key institutions and the offices of the government. The base is also tasked with thwarting both foreign and domestic threats against the capital.
Officially, Sarallah’s commander is the same as the IRGC commander, however, from an operational standpoint it has a deputy commander who in fact leads its forces on day-to-day basis.
Sarallah units have played a major role in suppressing anti-regime protests in Tehran and nearby regions in the past two decades. The Sarallah command also coordinates other forces of the regime during unrest; such as the regular police, Basij forces and intelligence units in the capital.