TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran’s top leader has appointed a pilot of Russian fighter jets to command the nation’s air force, state television reported Sunday.
It said Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s choice is Air Force Brig. Gen. Hamid Vahedi.
Vahedi, 56, trained on a simulator for a Sukhoi-24, a Russian fighter jet, from 2000 to 2001. He worked as the acting commander of the air force since 2018. As commander, Vahedi succeeds F-14 Tomcat pilot Gen. Aziz Nasirzadeh.
The change is part of routine replacement of army commanders.
The country’s air force has both Russian and American-made made jet fighters in service.