Russian-made Sukhoi fighter jets, above, are part of Iran’s air force drill near the Strait of Hormuz in the Gulf, undated. (AFP)

September 20, 2021

Iran’s top leader has appointed a pilot of Russian fighter jets to command the nation’s air force, state television reported Sunday.

It said Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s choice is Air Force Brig. Gen. Hamid Vahedi.

Vahedi, 56, trained on a simulator for a Sukhoi-24, a Russian fighter jet, from 2000 to 2001. He worked as the acting commander of the air force since 2018. As commander, Vahedi succeeds F-14 Tomcat pilot Gen. Aziz Nasirzadeh.

The change is part of routine replacement of army commanders.

The country’s air force has both Russian and American-made made jet fighters in service.

AP

About Track Persia

Track PersiaTrack Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.