Twitter has permanently suspended an Iranian account which is part of the media operations of Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, after days ago it posted a video which depicted Iranian operatives carrying out an imagined assassination of former President Donald Trump.
"The account referenced has been permanently suspended for violating our ban evasion policy," a Twitter spokesperson told AFP on Saturday. The 90-second animated video showed a drone attack on the former US president while be played gold at his Mar-a-lago club in Palm Beach, Florida.
The account that's now been banned is @KhameneiSite, however, others of the Ayatollah's main official accounts remain active, but it's unclear whether the video was posted to his other accounts as well.
The video, titled "Revenge is Inevitable" was clearly meant as a direct threat against Trump. The sequence of events leads to the moment a drone circling overhead launches a strike on the former president, and ends with images and references to slain IRGC commander Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad on Jan.3, 2020 - in a drone strike which Trump had ordered.
The final message that flashes across the screen reads "Revenge is Definite" before the video closes with an image of Qassem Soleimani.
#WATCH: Website of #Iran’s supreme leader showcased animated video that appears to show a robot calling in a drone strike to assassinate former US President Donald #Trump More here: https://t.co/KBsvCz2TRA pic.twitter.com/DQgHGARGko— Arab News (@arabnews) January 13, 2022
Interestingly, the Twitter ban on the Khamenei-linked account comes belatedly after many US Republicans have complained about an evident Twitter double-standard given Trump himself was long ago banned, as the AFP notes, "On January 3, the second anniversary of the strike, the supreme leader and ultraconservative Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi once again threatened the US with revenge. The report adds: "Trump’s supporters regularly denounce the banning of the Republican billionaire from Twitter, underscoring that accounts of several leaders considered authoritarian by the US are allowed to post on the platform."
The video was met with fierce reaction particularly among some Republicans in Congress. For example, Sen. Lindsey Graham stated on Twitter as it began to circulate widely on Thursday, "In case you were wondering who we are dealing with when it comes to the Iranians – this video says all you need to know."
In case you were wondering who we are dealing with when it comes to the Iranians – this video says all you need to know.— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) January 13, 2022
Last month, Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi called for the arrest of both Trump and Pompeo, saying in a speech, "If Trump and [former Secretary of State Mike] Pompeo are not tried in a fair court for the criminal act of assassinating General Soleimani, Muslims will take our martyr's revenge."