Iran replaces powerful chief of Guards' intelligence unit - state TV

June 23 (Reuters) - Iran has dismissed the powerful chief of the Revolutionary Guards' intelligence unit, Hossein Taeb, Iranian state TV said on Thursday, after a series of high-profile incidents Tehran has blamed on its arch-foe Israel.

Iranian state media did not give a reason but state TV said Taeb would become an adviser to the Guards' Commander-in-Chief Hossein Salami. Taeb will be replaced by Mohammad Kazemi, previously head of the Guards' Intelligence Protection unit.

The Islamic Republic, which refuses to recognise Israel, has long accused "the Zionist regime" of sabotaging Iran's nuclear sites and killing scientists and senior commanders inside Iran.

In May, Iran blamed Israel for the killing senior commander Sayyad Khodaei, the most high profile assassination inside Iran since the 2020 killing of nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, which Tehran also blamed on Israel.

Israel has not denied or accepted responsibility, but Iran's inability to thwart those attacks has exposed security gaps which suggest the Islamic Republic remains vulnerable in future.

Taeb, a mid-ranking cleric and a member of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's inner circle, was accused by some Israeli media of being behind an alleged Iranian plot to kill or abduct Israelis vacationing in Turkey. Israel raised its Istanbul travel advisory to the highest alert level on June 13.

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid thanked Turkey on Thursday for helping foil the Iranian plot in Istanbul and said the security effort was still underway.

Before becoming the Guards Intelligence Chief in 2009, Taeb worked in Khamenei's office.

Writing by Parisa Hafezi; Editing by Jon Boyle and Raissa Kasolowsky

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