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New leader is chosen for militia

October 06, 2009|Times Wire Reports

Iran's supreme leader has replaced the head of the feared militia at the center of the postelection crackdown with a senior military officer under U.N. sanctions for links to the country's ballistic missile program, state media reported.

The Basiji militia, whose members operate in plain clothes and often wield crude weapons, was blamed for much of the violence against crowds protesting President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's disputed June 12 reelection.

Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei replaced commander Hossein Taeb on Sunday, the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency reported. Taeb was replaced with Brig. Gen. Mohammad Reza Naqdi, a prominent figure in the elite Revolutionary Guard.

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