Twitter suspends ‘fake’ account linked to Iran’s leader

Twitter has suspended what it said was a fake account that carried a link to the website of Iran’s Supreme Leader, hours after the account carried the image of a golfer resembling former US President Donald Trump apparently being targeted by a drone.

The post, on a Persian-language account carrying a link to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s website, included the text of remarks by him in December in which he said “Revenge is certain” – referring to the killing of a top Iranian general in a US drone attack.

General Qasem Soleimani died in the Iraqi capital Baghdad last year.

A Twitter spokeswoman said the @khamenei_site account was suspended for violating the company’s platform manipulation and spam policy, specifically the creation of fake accounts.

Asked if the @khamenei_site account was fake, she said it was.

The golfer image tweet was retweeted by Mr Khamenei’s main Persian-language account @Khamenei-fa, although it appeared to have been deleted later.

The text and graphic of the tweet was also carried by his official website and widely quoted by Iranian media.

Mr Khamenei’s @Khamenei_fa account and his main Twitter account in English, which did not publish the golfer image tweet, are still operational.

Iranian officials have pledged repeatedly that Gen Soleimani’s killing will be avenged.

Earlier this month, on the first anniversary of his death, judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi warned that not even Mr Trump was “immune from justice” and that Gen Soleimani’s killers would “not be safe anywhere in the world”.