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The brothers: New IRGC leader Salami has influential brother in Iranian armed forces

An image . from Iranian media shows Hossein Salami (right) and his brother Mostafa (Mohammed) Salami

The new IRGC commander, Hossein Salami, is the more well known of two brothers who play an influential role in Iran's security forces. His brother Mostafa, sometimes known as Mohammed, is a senior officer in the armed forces. The two were profiled in a 2013 article about brothers who serve the Iranian revolutionary cause.

At the time the article noted that Brig. Gen. Mohammed Salami was noted to be a commander in the General Staff of the armed forces. Hossein Salami was a deputy commander in the operations directorate of the IRGC.

Although referred to as "Mohammed," it appears his actual name is Mostafa Salami and he has appeared in public at Army Day events. He spoke to IRNA in 2010 about the role of the army in the defense of the country. "Any country that wants to step into our defensive zone, we will never give it such a permission," he said. With the long experience of eight years fighting Iraq in the 1980s, the army was prepared for any eventuality, he indicated. "At that time, we had to import a lot of equipment and equipment, now we produce from the smallest to the most advanced equipment inside the country."

Hossein Salami, who is 59 years old, is the more well known of the brothers. Appointed on April 21 by Ayatollah Khamenei as head of the IRGC, he replaced Mohammad Ali Jafari, who had run the forces for 11 years. It is part of a shake-up within the organization that also comes after the US designated it a terrorist organization.

The IRGC's Salami has received immediate backing and congratulations from the foreign minister and president. He has also been widely hailed in Iranian media with Iran’s Tasnim news devoting more than five of its top stories on April 22 the Salami's role. These included articles about the IRGC getting around US sanctions, praise for the Salami's appointment as a “message to our enemies,” congratulations from various provinces, a review of the IRGC’s activities, photos of the IRGC with the supreme leader, and a review of the history of the IRGC. Fars News has an article about Salami and the international role of the IRGC, and IRNA, the state news agency, had articles about the constitutional role of the IRGC and the president congratulating Salami on his appointment.

Together the brothers will play an essential role in the two major security forces of the state. Such power in the hands of one family is not unprecedented across the regime. The Larijani brothers (especially Ali and Sadeq) also played key roles in the IRGC, parliament and judiciary.

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