The New Head of the IRGC’s Intelligence: Who Are You, Muhammad Kazemi?

Name: Mohammed Kazemi
Name in Persian: محمد كاظمي
Age: 65
Address: Tehran, Afsaria, Kosar Residential Complex – Villa No. 11
Position: Head of the Revolutionary Guards’ intelligence directorate (Persian: حفاظت اطلاعات سپاه) officially took office on 02.07.2022
Rank: IRGC BG2 (also called Sardar)
Former position: presumably, Commander of the counter-espionage branch.
His persona: Mohammad Kazemi, aka “Hajj Kazem” (Persian: حاج کاظم), is an individual with a rather low profile – both in terms of the Iranian public and in terms of information regarding him. Kazemi’s early career in the IRGC dates back to the 1980s. His first prominent position was membership in a committee directly subordinate to the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence. The committee was charged with “fighting opponents of the revolution.” In his previous position, he headed the counter-espionage and information security division of the IRGC’s intelligence apparatus, which he held since 2009 (against the backdrop of the nationwide protests that were taking place in Iran at the time). His deputy was likely Hassan Mashroueifar, the new appointment of Khamenei’s security unit.
 
Kazemi’s common nickname in the IRGC is “the spy hunter,” in context of his efforts in locating “domestic enemies” and regime opposition elements – from spies to intellectuals and cultural figures who criticize the regime, usually ending up with their untimely death. Meanwhile, his name has been associated with the assassination of intellectuals identified with the opposition in 1998. Kazemi is also mentioned as having opened a mock investigation against those involved in killing intellectuals to clear the regime of responsibility for the murders. His name is also associated with the planning of the abduction of journalist Arash Shoa-e Shargh from Turkey in 2018.
In 2019, a special unit was established in the intelligence apparatus, headed by Kazemi, which was responsible for closely monitoring the senior leadership of the IRGC and locating hostile elements at both the higher and lower levels (evidently, this is a type of special team subordinate to the counter-espionage and information security division, headed by Kazemi).
 


Left: Muhammad Kazemi | Right: His predecessor, Hussein Ta’eb,


Kazemi is surrounded by red, to the right of Hussein Salami, commander of the IRGC
The circumstances leading up to the appointment: The decision to appoint Kazemi – who headed the IRGC’s counter-espionage and information security division – as head of the intelligence apparatus stems from Khamenei’s desire to man the top echelons of the revolutionary guards with elements that have a “spy-hunting” track record. Kazemi will be replaced by Ibrahim Jabari, who served as commander of Ali Khamenei’s personal security unit and was replaced by Hassan Mashroueifar.




Kazemi’s home address
Coordinates:
 35.737979958866924 , 51.24745593170859
Alma Research

Alma Research

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