By Reza Shafa
NCRI – Mohammed Ali (Aziz) Jafari, the new Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) chief is one of the most senior members of the IRGC. Among his peers he is best known as Aziz whose unconventional tactics were famous in Iran-Iraq war.
One should not mistakenly take him for Brig. Gen. Mohammad Jafari Sahraroudi, one of the most vicious commanders of the Quds Force.
Jafari first was assigned as the commander of the IRGC’s southern fronts but soon, due to his exceptional skills, was transferred to northeastern fronts because of its difficult terrains. Before the wars final days, he commanded for a short period the Quds’ Garrison in the Iranian Kurdistan.
From 1990 to 1993, as the commander of IRGC’s ground forces, he went to IRGC’s Imam Hossein University to finish studies in combat and battle tactics.
On August 8, 2000, he commanded Tehran’s Sarallah Base; one of the two IRGC establishments most vital to the regime’s security in case of any popular uprisings. It is widely believed that the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei himself closely follows the activities of the two military garrisons.
For the second time, from 1995 to 2005, he took over the IRGC’s ground forces.
In August, 2005, on Khamenei direct order, Jafari was transferred to IRGC’s Strategic Center.
Aziz Jafari is only second in ranks to the former IRGC’s top commander, Rahim Safavi. Following the Iran-Iraq war, Khamenei elevated only 19 IRGC commanders in ranks. Aziz Jafari was among the first group to have received the rise.
What would it entail Jafari becoming the new IRGC commander is a question for the future. Something certain, however is the fact that the force would become even more brutal in Iraq and else where.
Reza Shafa is an expert on the Iranian regime’s intelligence networks, both in Iran and abroad. He has done extensive research on VAVAK (MOIS), IRGC’s Intelligence Office, and Quds Force among others. Currently he is a contributor to NCRI website.