January 3, 2020 7:40 AM EST

(Bloomberg) — Qasem Soleimani’s deputy Esmail Ghaani has been named commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force, according to the semi-official Fars news agency.

Read more: Why the U.S. Assassination of Iranian Quds Force Leader Qasem Soleimani Has the U.S. Bracing for Retaliation

The announcement was made after Soleimani was killed by a U.S. airstrike in Iraq, in a major escalation of tensions between Tehran and Washington. Iran has vowed a swift and severe retaliation in response to Soleimani’s death, which officials have described as an act of state-sponsored terrorism.

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