Iran's supreme leader makes online threats to attack golfing Trump

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image copyrightTwitter
image captionThe image from the Khamenei-linked account appears to depict Donald Trump playing golf below an aircraft

Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has posted online an apparent call for an attack on Donald Trump in revenge for last year's killing of its top military commander, Gen Qasem Soleimani.

A photomontage, on his official website, appears to show the ex-US president playing golf in the shadow of a warplane or large drone.

Twitter has suspended a small account which first tweeted the image.

A spokeswoman told Reuters the account - @khamenei_site - was fake and violated Twitter's platform manipulation and spam policy.

However, the post was also retweeted by Ayatollah Khamenei's much larger Farsi Twitter account with more than 300,000 followers. It has since disappeared from that account.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

In the tweet, written in Farsi, the word "vengeance" is in red and the rest of the post says: "Soleimani's murderer and he who ordered it will have to pay".

On the Ayatollah Khomeini's official website, the image is posted prominently. The accompanying text quotes comments he made on 16 December, again vowing revenge "at any time".

Twitter had been urged to act after several users pointed out what they saw as the inconsistency of banning Mr Trump but not the Iranian leader.

Twitter closed Mr Trump's hugely influential account earlier this month after he published posts that were widely considered to have encouraged violence that overwhelmed the US Capitol.

"How come this atrocious psychopath can openly call for the assassination of a former US president, and not be kicked out of Twitter?" one user wrote in English.

"Trump's banned but this is perfectly ok. Is this a joke?" another user wrote.

The Iranian tweet refers to Gen Soleimani, who was assassinated by a US drone in Baghdad a year ago.

Under Soleimani's leadership, Iran had bolstered pro-Iranian militant groups, expanded its military presence in Iraq and Syria and orchestrated Syria's offensive against rebel groups in its long-running civil war.

media captionGen Soleimani was a popular figure in Iran

Mr Trump said at the time the general was "directly and indirectly responsible for the deaths of millions of people".

Iran responded by launching a barrage of missiles at an Iraqi airbase housing US troops and warned of further attacks, with Ayatollah Khamenei saying at the time that "severe revenge awaits the criminals".

Twitter banned a tweet from the ayatollah earlier this month that described coronavirus vaccines developed in the UK and the US as "untrustworthy".

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