Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has appointed a veteran commander with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as the country’s new security chief.
Ali Akbar Ahmadian, 62, was named on Monday as the new secretary of the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), replacing Ali Shamkhani, who held the post for close to a decade.
Ahmadian takes the reins of the SNSC at a time of rapidly accelerating diplomatic regional efforts facilitated by his predecessor, including the re-establishment of ties with rival Saudi Arabia after a China-brokered agreement in March.
Iran’s relations with the West, however, remain sour. A landmark 2015 nuclear deal with world powers remains in limbo, while Iran has been accused of supplying Russia with armed drones for the war in Ukraine and tensions have steadily risen following nationwide protests that erupted across the country in September last year.