Twitter suspends Iran’s Supreme Leader after tweet threatening Trump

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Twitter suspended an account linked to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei on Friday after it made a post apparently threatening former US president Donald Trump.

Earlier on Friday, the @khamenei_site account shared an image of a golfer resembling Mr Trump under the shadow of an aircraft. The accompanying message threatened vengeance for the death of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, whose assassination Mr Trump ordered in a US drone strike in Iraq last January.

The tweet in Farsi repeated comments Ayatollah Khamenei made last month that “those who ordered the murder of General Suleimani as well as those who carried this out should be punished. This revenge will certainly happen at the right time.”

The tweet prompted calls for Twitter to suspend the Iranian leader’s account, after the social media platform permanently suspended Mr Trump’s account earlier this month for posts inciting violence.

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A Twitter spokesperson said the account @khamenei_site “violated our platform manipulation and spam policy, specifically the creation of fake accounts, and has been permanently suspended, and the Tweet was in violation of our abusive behaviour policy.”

Earlier this month Twitter removed a tweet by Ayatollah Khamenei questioning the efficacy of Covid-19 vaccines from the US and the UK, saying the post violated its rules against coronavirus misinformation.

“Importing vaccines made in the US or the UK is prohibited. They’re completely untrustworthy,” said the post in English on the unverified account @khamenei_ir, which shares the Supreme Leader’s statements.

That account, which has over 884,000 followers, and others associated with Ayatollah Khamenei are still online.

Twitter briefly suspended several accounts belonging to Ayatollah Khamenei last March, after mistakenly identifying them as spam content.

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