Iran names Esmail Qaani as New Chief of Quds Force number 2 to replace slain Soleimani
Tehran, Jan 03: Iran's supreme leader appointed Esmail Qaani as the deputy head of the Revolutionary Guards' foreign operations arm to replace its commander on Friday after he was killed in a US strike in Baghdad.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a statement posted on his official website, "Following the martyrdom of the glorious general haj Qasem Soleimani, I name Brigadier General Esmail Qaani as the commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps."
Khamenei described Qaani as one of the "most decorated commanders" of the Guards during the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war.
The Supreme leader said on Friday, "The orders for the (Quds) force remain exactly as they were during the leadership of martyr Soleimani."
He further added, "I call on the members of the force to be present and cooperate with General Qaani and wish him divine prosperity, acceptance and guidance."
US President Donald Trump ordered the killing of Iran Revolutionary Guards commander Qasem Soleimani, who died in Baghdad "in a decisive defensive action to protect US personnel abroad," the Pentagon said. "General Soleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region.
He was killed by shelling targeting the vehicles at the Baghdad International Airport on Friday.