US president has said he could knock out Iran’s military. We welcome no war, nor do we initiate any war, but.. pic.twitter.com/D4Co7fVuVg— Khamenei.ir (@khamenei_ir) 25 июля 2015
The message was posted to the Twitter account long believed to belong to the Supreme Leader, although Twitter has not officially confirmed the account is Khameini's.
The caption was accompanied by a picture of a shadowed figure with a US flag stuck to his lapel and a gun to his head, which some observers took to be Obama himself.
Saturday's tweet repeats a previous Twitter message from Khameini, made on July 18:
US pres. said he could knock out Iran’s army. Of course we neither welcome, nor begin war, but in case of war, US will leave it disgraced.— Khamenei.ir (@khamenei_ir) 18 июля 2015
Khameini's tweet was a response to comments the US president made in a July 14 interview with New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman. Friedman, who stated his "biggest concern," during the interview that "Iran is just not afraid of a serious US military retaliation if it cheats," asked Obama, "Why should Iran be afraid of us?"
Obama's reply puts Khameini's Twitter assessment of "the aggressive and criminal US," into context.
"Because we could knock out their military in speed and dispatch if we chose to…And I think they have seen my willingness to take military action where I thought it was important for US interests."
Khameini's tweet gained a wide response on Twitter, and was retweeted more than 1,100 times in less than two days.
@khamenei_ir Um, check the agreement. You can't tweet memes without approval of UN Meme Council.— pourmecoffee (@pourmecoffee) 25 июля 2015
One user told Khameini, "I just took you off my Christmas card list," while another imagined the consequences of such a conflict, predicting, "Halliburton stock will skyrocket."