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Iran's Supreme Leader Picks New Revolutionary Guard Chief

FILE - Ayatollah Ali Khamenei arriving at a graduation ceremony of the Revolutionary Guard's officers, as the deputy commander of the Guard, Hossein Salami (2nd R) and other salute him in Tehran. (Office of Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)

Iran's supreme leader has appointed a new head to the country's powerful Revolutionary Guard, just after the U.S. designated the paramilitary force a terrorist group.

State-run Iranian media gave no reason for Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's decision to replace the Guard's commander.

Taking over will be Gen. Hossein Salami, a 59-year-old who had been serving as a deputy commander in the Guard.

He replaces Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari, who had been in charge of the Guard for over 11 years.

The Revolutionary Guard is a separate force from Iran's standing military. It also oversees the country's ballistic missile program and runs its own intelligence operations.

Earlier this month, the Trump administration designated the Guard a terrorist organization. Iran responded by designating the U.S. military's Central Command as a terrorist organization.