Shamkhani, Iran’s security chief, was replaced after nearly 10 years.
Ali Shamkhani, one of the leading figures in the Iranian establishment, has stepped down as head of national security after nearly a decade.
State media confirmed on Monday that President Ibrahim Raisi has appointed Ali Akbar Ahmadian, a senior commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), to replace Shamkhani as head of the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC).
Shamkhani was appointed secretary of the SNSC in September 2013 and has been instrumental in shaping Iran’s security policies over the past decade.
Shamkhani left his post after successfully restoring relations with Saudi Arabia. In March, the two countries agreed to restore diplomatic ties after a seven-year standoff in a deal brokered by China.
Ahmadi, the new security chief, has been a consummate military man with no public experience in presidential administration or as a diplomat. Ahmadi has built his career entirely within the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
He rose to the ranks of the elite force for his efforts during the eight-year Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s and held senior coordination positions at IRGC headquarters in several Iranian provinces.
In the late 1990s, Ahmadi became the Commander-in-Chief of the IRGC Navy, having previously served in the force as Shamkhani’s deputy.