June 12, 2019
Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) denied on Tuesday reports saying that some of its commanders have either fled Iran or have been arrested during the past few weeks for their role in an Israeli operation that exposed Iran’s nuclear archives.
IRGC spokesman Ramezan Sharif said the reports were sparked by recent changes in the IRGC command and were part of “familiar enemy tactics aimed at targeting the public opinion”.
He claimed that the commanders mentioned in the reports now occupy new positions in the military apparatus.
However, Sharif failed to clarify the reasons behind Iran’s decision to introduce the changes at the IRGC command.
The IRGC rarely comments on reports that speak of the corruption of its commanders.
Among the figures mentioned in the reports is General Mohammad Tavalaee, the former deputy of IRGC strategic affairs, who was allegedly arrested while attempting to flee Iran. US reports said that he was involved in smuggling Iranian nuclear files to Israel.
The stolen archives were obtained by a secret Mossad mission and were later revealed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in April 2018.
He claimed and presented evidence that Iran has been lying about its nuclear objectives in an attempt to make a nuclear bomb.
The reports about the arrests emerged six weeks after the major shock that saw Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei appoint Hossein Salami as the commander-in-chief of the IRGC to replace Mohammed Ali Jafari.
Khamenei also appointed Ali Fadavi as the acting commander of IRGC and Mohammad Reza Naqdi as its coordinating commander.
His move was interpreted at the time as a reaction to the United States’ designation of the IRGC as a terrorist organization two weeks earlier.