Born: 8 August 1957;
Place of Birth: Mashhad, Iran;
Known also as: Esmail Qaani;
Rank: Head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps – Quds Force.
On 27 March 2012, the US Treasury sanctioned Ghaani, describing him as having authority over “financial disbursements” to proxies affiliated with the Quds Force.
Ghaani joined the Guard a year after the 1979 revolution. He had served as Soleimani’s deputy ever since the latter took the lead of Iran’s elite force in 1997. Since 3 January 2020, (following Soleimani’s death) Ghaani serves as the commander of the IRGC’s foreign operations branch, the Quds Force.
The Quds Force is part of the 125,000-strong Revolutionary Guard, a paramilitary organization that answers only to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Ghaani was tied to an intercepted shipment of weapons seized at a port in 2010 in Lagos, Nigeria. Authorities broke into 13 shipping containers labeled as carrying “packages of glass wool and pallets of stone.” They instead found 107 mm Katyusha rockets, rifle rounds and other weapons.
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