Twitter Bans One of Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei's Accounts Over Video Showing 'Trump's Killing'
09:56 GMT 16.01.2022 (Updated: 10:04 GMT 16.01.2022)
Tensions between Washington and Tehran have been simmering since the unilateral US withdrawal from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and the reinstatement of crippling American sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
Twitter has permanently suspended an account linked to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
"apparently for sharing an animation video depicting the killing of Donald Trump", the news outlet Iran International
reported on Sunday.
KhameneiSite is just one of the accounts controlled by the Iranian supreme leader's office, which remain active.
A spokesperson for the social network, in turn, told the news agency AFP that "the account referenced has been permanently suspended for violating our [Twitter's] ban evasion policy". The spokesperson declined to elaborate but Twitter has repeatedly stressed that its top priority is to keep people safe and protect friendly communication on the platform.
On Thursday, Khamenei's official website posted an animation video titled "Revenge is Definite", which showed Iranian military officials manoeuvring advanced surveillance and unmanned combat vehicles toward a man who looks like Trump playing golf. The footage ends after one of the vehicles' operators aims a massive gun at the man's figure.
The video was shared by KhameneiSite, which called to avenge the assassination of top Iranian general, Qasem Soleimani, two years ago by the US military.
On 3 January 2020, Soleimani, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps
(IRGC)'s elite Quds Force, was killed in a targeted US drone strike while his car was departing the Baghdad International Airport, a move that was directly approved by then-US President Donald Trump.
The 45th president claimed that IRGC forces, led by Soleimani, attacked a US military base in Kirkuk, Iraq, and planned to storm four US embassies. Later on, then-Defence Secretary Mark Esper said he had never seen evidence of a threat against the embassies.
Tehran responded by launching missile attacks on two US military bases in Iraq that subsequently led to about 100 American soldiers receiving traumatic brain injuries. On the anniversary of Soleimani's assassination last year, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif promised that Tehran would "not rest" until it brings the people responsible for the general's death to justice.
Soleimani's assassination exacerbated US-Iranian relations, which were already strained under the Trump administration after it unilaterally withdrew from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal
, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and reinstated harsh sanctions against the Islamic Republic.