In a letter to Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, the Sunni bloc expressed hopes that the country would employ more Sunnis and other religious minorities to top roles in the Shia-majority country.
They said the Leader’s decision untied the Gordian knot in the country’s managerial positions and was a green light to all those who intended to use competent Sunnis in all areas of the country’s high-ranking positions.
“While thanking Your Excellency again and wishing success and a life with dignity for you and all those who serve the Islamic system, we hope that the revolutionary administration [of Ebrahim Raeisi] would also consider picking the competent and benefiting the country through the capability and expertise of competent Sunnis of Iran and all ethnicities, sects and religions at the highest levels of the administration by following in the footsteps of the great Leader of the Islamic Revolution and [His] wise approach,” the Sunni lawmakers added.
Irani, who is from the Iranian Kurdistan province’s capital city, Sanandaj, where a significant number of Sunnis live, was named the new chief of the Iranian Navy in a decree by Ayatollah Khamenei on Tuesday, replacing Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi, who had held the position since 2017.
Ayatollah Khamenei said the appointment was made in view of the commander’s commitment to his duties and positive work experience and upon a proposal by the Army commander.
The Leader also called on Admiral Irani to do his utmost to promote the capabilities of the country’s naval forces.
‘More secure horizon ahead’
Irani’s appointment received positive feedback on social media, with users paying particular attention and cherishing his last name as a good omen and a manifestation of his patriotism.
“Rear Admiral Shahram Irani, as the first Sunni Kurdish citizen, was named commander of the Navy. What a beautiful family name!” wrote Mohsen Milani, Professor of Politics at the University of South Florida.
Iran’s Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Seyyed Abbas Salehi said that the appointment “will open a more secure horizon in governing the country.”
“In the fifth decade [of the Islamic Revolution], we will witness the stronger presence of Iranian ethnic groups in higher levels of executive positions,” Salehi tweeted.
According to lawmaker Kamal Hosseinpour, the “wise appointment” by Ayatollah Khamenei brought joy to the people of Iran, especially the Sunni and Kurdish communities.
In his tweet, Hosseinpour expressed hope that the Raiesi administration would make use of “the rich capacities and potentials of the country’s ethnic and religious minorities.”