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, posted on Twitter and an official website, appears to show the ex-US president playing golf in the shadow of a warplane or large drone.
The website image is captioned “vengeance is definite”.
Twitter has suspended an account linked to Ayatollah Khamenei.
The account – @khamenei_site – violated Twitter’s rules, the social media giant said. It provided a link to a list of prohibited acts, including threatening violence.
However, the post also appeared, retweeted, on Ayatollah Khamenei’s main, much larger Farsi Twitter account with 350,000 followers. It has since been removed from that account.
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”.
The picture was posted prominently on the Supreme Leader’s official website too.
Twitter acted 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.
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