Iran‘s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has suggested former U.S. President Donald Trump should be killed in revenge for the death of top Iranian General Qassem Soleimani last year.
On Friday, Khamenei posted an image of a golfer resembling Trump in the shadow of a drone to Twitter.
The image was captioned with remarks made by Khamenei in December in which he said ‘Revenge is certain’ for Soleimani’s death.
At the time, his comments renewed a vow of vengeance ahead of the first anniversary of the killing of Iran’s top military commander.
Soleimani was killed in a U.S. airstrike on January 3 last year in Iraq, which was ordered by Trump.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has posted an image of a golfer resembling former U.S. President Donald Trump being targeted by a drone (pictured)
‘Those who ordered the murder of General Soleimani as well as those who carried this out should be punished,’ Khamenei tweeted on December 16.
Without naming Trump, he said: ‘This revenge will certainly happen at the right time.’
Trump – who is known for his love of golf – has been replaced by newly-elected President Joe Biden, who was inaugurated in a ceremony on Wednesday in Washington DC.
It is believed the new president will look to engage more on the world stage – in contrast with Trump’s more isolationist approach – with hopes he will return to the Obama-era nuclear deal with Iran.
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.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei delivers a speech on January 8, 2021. On Friday, he posted a picture suggesting that Trump should be killed as revenge for the death of Khamenei’s top general Qassem Soleimani
There was no apparent immediate action by Twitter over the Persian-language tweet on Friday by Khamenei, Iran’s highest authority.
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.
Pictured: The tweet from the official Twitter account of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, sharing the picture of a Trump-lookalike being targeted by a drone and vowing vengeance for the death of top Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in a US airstrike last year
A ceremony marking the first anniversary of the death of the Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, in Damascus, Syria, on January 7, 2021
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.
Earlier this month, an arrest warrant was issued by Iraq for former president Trump in connection with the killing of Soleimani.
The warrant was issued on January 7 by a judge in Baghdad’s investigative court tasked with probing the Washington-directed drone strike that killed Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the court’s media office said.
They were killed outside the capital’s airport last January.
Al-Muhandis was the deputy leader of the state-sanctioned Popular Mobilization Forces, an umbrella group composed of an array of militias, including Iran-backed groups, formed to fight the Islamic State group.
Soleimani headed the expeditionary Quds force of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps.
Without naming Trump, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said: ‘This revenge will certainly happen at the right time.’ Trump (pictured golfing in November) is known for his love of the sport, and owns a number of golf courses
The arrest warrant was for a charge of premeditated murder, which carries the death penalty on conviction. It is unlikely to be carried out but symbolic in the waning days of Trump’s presidency.
The decision to issue the warrant ‘was made after the judge recorded the statements of the claimants from the family of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis,’ according to a statement from the Supreme Judicial Council.
The investigation into the killings is ongoing, the court said.
The killings sparked a diplomatic crisis and strained U.S.-Iraq ties, drawing the ire of Shiite political lawmakers who passed a non-binding resolution to pressure the government to oust foreign troops from the country.
Iran-backed groups have since stepped up attacks against the American presence in Iraq, leading to threats by Washington to shutter its Baghdad diplomatic mission.