Twitter has suspended a fake account initially attributed to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei after an image of a drone targeting a Trump-lookalike was posted.
This contrasts with the site rushing to permanently ban former U.S. President Donald Trump over the violence in Washington, DC, on January 6.
Khamenei has five official Twitter accounts where he posts the same things in various languages – Arabic, English, Farsi, Russian and Spanish.
The Khamenei_site handle is not any of those but Reuters’ attributed it to him on Thursday night and said he’d posted it.
On Friday, Reuters said it was in fact a fake account and was not that of the Iranian leader who has, in the past, tweeted antisemitic, anti-American and anti-COVID vaccine remarks.
The original tweet included the image of a blond-haired golfing figure resembling Trump in a red shirt, with the looming shadow of a stealth drone overhead.
The post carried the text of remarks by Khamenei in December, in which renewed a previous pledge saying “Revenge is certain,” declaring vengeance ahead of the first anniversary of the killing of top military commander General Qasem Soleimani in the attack in Iraq.
A U.S. airstrike targeted a convoy carrying Soleimani and at least three other militiamen at Baghdad’s International Airport in the successful attack.
The killing remains a major blow to the Iranian regime, coming as it did just days after members of Iranian proxy militias attempted to stormed the U.S. embassy in Baghdad.
“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 tweeted on December 16, without naming Trump, who had ordered the strike.
Earlier this month, Twitter removed a tweet by Khamenei in which he said U.S. and British-made vaccines were unreliable and may be intended to “contaminate other nations,” as Breitbart News reported.
Iran will not import American Pfizer-BioNTech or Britain’s Astrazeneca coronavirus vaccines, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei announced Friday. https://t.co/JlYORtrwKM
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) January 8, 2021
The social media platform said the tweet violated its rules against misinformation.
Twitter allowed the latest post to remain online for 17 hours before it took any action.
Khamenei’s @Khamenei_fa account and his main Twitter account in English, which did not carry the golfer image tweet, are still operational.