Khamenei sacks security police chief
TEHRAN, Sept 17 (Reuters) - Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
on Sunday sacked the hardline security police chief, who is mired in a
court case that saw his subordinates convicted of torture.
The official news agency IRNA said Khamenei had ordered the removal
of Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Naqdi, who is fighting an eight-month
jail sentence he received last year for slander in a graft scandal in Tehran
Some of his aides were sentenced to jail for mistreating several district
mayors during their detention three years ago on corruption charges.
Brigadier General Abdolhossein Ramezani, a low-key Revolutionary Guards
official, was appointed to replace Naqdi as head of intelligence and security
for the national police.
Khamenei, who is the commander-in-chief of Iran's armed forces, transferred
Naqdi to an administrative post as head of the logistics department of
the armed forces, IRNA said.
No reason was given for Naqdi's transfer, but the move could be part
of a reshuffle of the top brass of the police and armed forces.
Naqdi, an Islamic hardliner, has been a controversial figure known for
his acerbic attacks on reformers allied with President Mohammad Khatami.
Last year, he called for the death of students jailed for alleged blasphemy
in a campus play. His call drew an indirect public reprimand from Khamenei.
Naqdi's removal came less than three months after the ouster of police
chief Hedayat Lotfian, another hardliner whom reformers held responsible
for bloody student unrest in July 1999.