NewsSpecial WireIran changes security chief in restive southern province

Iran changes security chief in restive southern province

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Iran Focus: Tehran, Iran, Aug. 22 – Less than a year after he was appointed the commander of State Security Forces in Iran’s southern province of Kerman, Brigadier General Valiollah Nanvakenari was fired for failing to bring calm to the restive region, local newspapers reported on Monday. Iran Focus

Tehran, Iran, Aug. 22 – Less than a year after he was appointed the commander of State Security Forces in Iran’s southern province of Kerman, Brigadier General Valiollah Nanvakenari was fired for failing to bring calm to the restive region, local newspapers reported on Monday.

The change of command took place during a ceremony on Sunday, a month after Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei appointed a new hard-line Revolutionary Guards commander as the head of Iran’s State Security Forces.

Nanvakenari was replaced by Brigadier General Hamid Gorizan, who had been commander of Mersad Garrison, a special task force created to fight rebels and insurgents in southern and south-eastern Iran.

The sudden replacement comes as Kerman Province has become a hotbed of anti-government activities. The province has witnessed a sharp rise in protests and strikes by students, workers, and disenchanted citizens.

There have been a series of large anti-government protests in the earthquake-stricken city of Bam, since the ancient city was devastated in December 2003. Iranian authorities have been severely criticised by survivors for failing to provide adequate support more than 18 months after the quake which left at least 100,000 dead or injured.

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