Source: Rooz Online
On Sunday the Islamic Republic supreme leader issued a decree appointing Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Naghdi as commander of the Basij and Hossein Taeb to head the intelligence division of the Islamic Passdaran Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).
The Islamic Republic supreme leader also appointed deputy commander of the IRGC, Brigadier General Mohammad Hosseinzadeh Hejazi, to head the joint chiefs of staff's support and industrial research division. He also appointed Brigadier General Hossein Salami to replace Hejazi as deputy commander of the IRGC and promoted Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh as commander of the "IRGC's air-aerospace force."
Torture Expert on All Levels
Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Naghdi was born
in the city of Najaf in Iraq and moved to Iran following the revolution, joining
the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq.
Naghdi first entered the national stage for his role in the trial of Tehran's powerful former mayor, Gholamhossein Karbaschi. As part of that trial, Naghdi arrested a number of the mayor's deputies and subjected them to torture and long spells in solitary confinement.
One of Karbaschi's deputies wrote a letter to the fifth Majlis lawmakers following his release detailing Mohammd Reza Naghdis role in the torture and interrogation of detainees at the infamous Vesaal detention facility: "Our facility was named Vesaal and I was at the solitary cell number 130. My cell was located four levels below ground. The facility's sound system constantly played either the Koran or cries and sermons. The food was horrendous. During my 65 days in solitary conferment it consisted of a dry piece of bread and several dates, or a soup of warm water and tomatoes and a few beans. Torture was a constant part of my interrogations. My interrogator, who introduced himself as Iman, used cables to beat me and screamed 'Ya Zahra' or 'Ya Hossein' with each beating. Mr. Naghdi was personally present in every interrogation session and always asked me to confess in writing that I had inappropriate relations with my secretary Ms. Z. M. as I was being beaten."
Mohammad Reza Naghdi was also a key player in organizing and financing the Ansar Hezbollah and other plain-clothed militia, and played a role in the Ansar's attack on the Tehran University dormitories in the bloody crackdown of the 1999 student uprising.
In 2005, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad appointed Naghdi to head the Committee to Combat Drug and Currency Smuggling. One week later, however, Ahmadinejad dismissed Naghdi after he accused one of Ahmadinejad's prominent campaign donors, Seyyed Rostam Aghakhan, of running a smuggling operation.
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