NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) _ Iranian spiritual leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei appointed Seyyed Hassan Firuzabadi as army chief of staff Tuesday, Tehran television reported.

The broadcast, monitored in Nicosia, quoted Khamenei as announcing Firuzabadi's appointment in an edict. It did not give Firuzabadi's age, rank, education or other background.

The previous chief of staff was Brig. Gen. Esmael Sohrabi. No reason was given for his replacement, nor did the radio say what post he might have been moved to.

The radio quoted the edict as saying Firuzabadi was appointed in light of his ''revolutionary background, commitment, resourcefulness in action and sincere endeavors in serving the armed forces of the Islamic republic.''

The new chief of staff will be responsible for the overall direction of the armed forces, training, organization, equipment and manpower, the television reported.

It said he will also be responsible for coordination between the army and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards.

The commander-in-chief of the armed forces is President Hashemi Rafsanjani. He was appointed to that post late in the eight-year Persian Gulf war by the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and charged with improving coordination between the regular armed forces and the Revolutionary Guards.

The guards corps was created soon after the 1979 revolution that toppled Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi as a counterforce to the shah's army.