Middle East/North Africa

Account purporting to be Iran’s leader vows ‘revenge,’ posting an image resembling Trump

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An account purporting to belong to Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, on Thursday tweeted an image bearing a resemblance to President Trump on one of his many golf courses that bore text swearing “revenge.” The account was later permanently suspended, with Twitter citing both its policies against fake accounts and violent imagery.

A tweet from the’s account included the image of a blond-haired figure resembling the former president in a red shirt, with the sinister shadow of a stealth aircraft overhead. The same image was reportedly shared on an English-language website operated by Iran’s government.

Text over the image referred to a statement made by Khamenei on Twitter last month, according to a translation by Reuters, including the supreme leader’s vow that the U.S. would face retribution for the death of Qassem Soleimani, Iran’s top general who was killed by a U.S. drone strike in Iraq last year.

“Those who ordered the murder of General Soleimani as well as those who carried this out should be punished. This revenge will certainly happen at the right time,” Khamenei’s statement read, according to Reuters.

A Twitter spokesperson told The Hill in an emailed statement that the account had been permanently suspended in response, citing the platform’s rules against both fake accounts as well as content promoting violence.

“The Tweet referenced is in violation of our abusive behavior policy, and the account you referenced (khamenei_site) violated our platform manipulation and spam policy, specifically the creation of fake accounts, and has been permanently suspended,” said the Twitter spokesperson.

Tensions between the U.S. and Iran neared the point of war after the killing of Soleimani last year, but Iran’s government has pursued a more amicable relationship with the Biden administration in recent days.

Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, in a statement on Wednesday called on President Biden to return the U.S. to the nuclear deal negotiated in 2015 under the Obama administration.

UPDATED

Tags Donald Trump Iran Iran-US relations Qasem Soleimani

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