Twitter has suspended an account linked to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, after it tweeted an ominous image that appeared to threaten former U.S. president Donald Trump‘s life.
The bird’s-eye image showed a Trump-like figure on a golf course, overshadowed by the silhouette of an attack drone. “Revenge is definite,” the caption read, in a reference to a Khamenei speech from last month.
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Iran’s Supreme Leader had vowed in that speech to strike back at Trump for killing General Qassem Soleimani — a top Iranian general — a year ago in Iraq.
The Twitter post appeared Thursday on a Persian-language account linked to Khamenei’s website, which also featured the message and photo on Friday. The website included a longer English translation of Khamenei’s comments from last year.
“Even if his murderer is beheaded, it won’t even compensate for one of Soleimani’s shoes,” the message said. “They were very wrong in doing this and must face revenge. Both the murderers and those who ordered it should know that revenge may come at any time.”
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Twitter suspended the suspected Khamenei account a few hours later, amid its recent crackdown on misinformation and incitements to violence on the platform.
A Twitter spokesman told the Associated Press that the tweet had violated the company’s “abusive behaviour policy” and its “manipulation and spam policy, specifically the creation of fake accounts,” without elaborating.
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Twitter also previously banned a tweet from the account which questioned the reliability of some coronavirus vaccines from the U.S. and U.K.
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Other accounts thought to be tied to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s office remained active.
Twitter is banned within Iran, but its officials often used it to insult and troll Trump during his term.
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Trump was banned from the platform for inciting an attack on the U.S. Capitol earlier this month.
Iran’s latest threat goes farther than those of the past, and comes a few weeks after the anniversary of Soleimani’s assassination.
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Soleimani helped orchestrate pro-Iran militant groups in Iran until he was killed in a drone strike early last year. Trump said at the time that Soleimani was “directly and indirectly responsible for the deaths of millions of people.”
—With files from Reuters and The Associated Press
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