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Iran’s supreme leader appoints new chief for country’s navy

Khamenei names senior army officer Shahram Irani to post; Iranian naval forces are mainly in charge of operations in the Gulf of Oman

In this photo released on June 10, 2021, by the Iranian army, an Iranian warship moves in the Atlantic Ocean. (Iranian Army via AP)
In this photo released on June 10, 2021, by the Iranian army, an Iranian warship moves in the Atlantic Ocean. (Iranian Army via AP)

TEHRAN — Iran’s top leader appointed a new chief for the country’s navy, state media reported Tuesday.

The official IRNA news agency said Ayatollah Ali Khamenei appointed Adm. Shahram Irani as the new navy chief under the country’s army.

Irani was working as a senior army officer so far. He became the successor of Adm. Hossein Khanzadi, who held the post since 2017.

In his decree, Khamenei urged Irani to improve the navy. No reason was given for the replacement.

Iran’s navy, under the army, is mainly in charge of operations in the Gulf of Oman and beyond in international waters.

Last month, the MT Mercer Street, an oil products tanker operated by Zodiac Maritime, a company owned by an Israeli, was struck by a drone off the Omani coast, killing two crew members — a Briton and a Romanian.

Israel and the G7 — the US, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, and Japan — along with other Western nations blamed the attack on Iran, which denies the accusation.

The paramilitary Revolutionary Guard oversees a separate navy in the Persian Gulf. The US Navy occasionally complains about harassment by the Guard’s gunboats.

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