DUBAI, Jan 22 (Reuters) – The Twitter account of Iran’s Supreme Leader on Friday carried the image of a golfer resembling former President Donald Trump apparently being targeted by a drone, vowing revenge over the killing of a top Iranian general in a U.S. drone attack.
The post carried the text of remarks by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in December, in which he said “Revenge is certain”, renewing a vow of vengeance ahead of the first anniversary of the killing of top military commander General Qassem Soleimani in the attack in Iraq.
“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”. The platform said the tweet violated its rules against misinformation.
There was no apparent immediate action by Twitter over the Persian-language tweet on Friday by Khamenei, Iran’s highest authority.
?انتقام حتمی است
قاتل سلیمانی و آمر به قتل سلیمانی باید انتقامشان را پس بدهند.
اگر چه کفش پای سلیمانی هم بر سرِ قاتل او شرف دارد؛ اما بالاخره غلطی کردند، بایستی #انتقام پس بدهند؛ #هم_آمر_هم_قاتل بدانند که در هر زمان ممکن باید انتقامشان را پس بدهند.
— KHAMENEI.IR | سایت (@khamenei_site) January 21, 2021
Tensions rapidly grew between Tehran and Washington since 2018, when Trump exited a 2015 deal between Iran and six world powers that sought to curb Tehran’s nuclear programme. Washington reimposed sanctions that have crippled Iran’s economy.
Iran called for action and “not just words” shortly after Joe Biden was sworn in as U.S. president on Wednesday. Biden has said Washington will rejoin the nuclear deal if Iran resumes strict compliance.
(Reporting by Dubai newsroom; Editing by Michael Perry)