My latest in PJ Media:
On Saturday, Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, tweeted: “Martyr Soleimani is an eternal reality that will live on forever. His assassins – including Trump & the like – will go down in history’s garbage bin, but of course after receiving retribution in this world for the crime they committed.” This is a clear threat, but Twitter has not banned or suspended Khamenei’s account. After all, he was threatening Donald Trump, and as far as Twitter is concerned, what could be wrong with that?
Khamenei was referring, of course, to Qasem Soleimani, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Quds Force commander who was killed in a Trump-ordered American airstrike on Jan. 3, 2020. Soleimani was killed near Baghdad International Airport shortly after an Iranian-backed militia attack on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, as a clear warning to Iran not to continue to target Americans and American installations.
The Islamic Republic, however, has consistently portrayed the killing of Soleimani as an unprovoked, gratuitous strike by the Great Satan. Yet the Supreme Leader’s belligerence is longstanding. Before Soleimani was killed, he was just as hostile to the United States and American leaders as he is now. Khamenei has also threatened Trump before. Iran’s state-controlled Ahlul Bayt News Agency reported on Jan. 23, 2021, that the Supreme Leader’s official website “posted a photo-montage of former US President Donald Trump playing golf under the shadow of a drone, vowing to avenge the assassination of Iran’s Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani.”
Khamenei also thundered in December 2020, “Revenge is certain.” He added, “The assassin of Soleimani and the one who ordered the murder should be punished. As an esteemed person said, Soleimani’s shoe is worth more than the assassin’s head and even decapitation of the assassin will not compensate for Soleimani’s shoe; but they did the wrong thing. They should be punished. The one who ordered and the assassin should know that they should be punished at any time possible.”
Trump was a favored Khamenei target even before Soleimani was killed. In February 2019, the Supreme Leader declared to a military gathering that “as long as America continues its wickedness, the Iranian nation will not abandon ‘Death to America.’ ‘Death to America’ means death to Trump, (National Security Adviser) John Bolton, and (Secretary of State Mike) Pompeo. It means death to American rulers.” Oh, well, then, that’s okay — at least with Twitter.
In May 2018, the Supreme Leader said in a speech, “A few days ago, Trump wrote a letter to the leaders of some Persian Gulf countries, to which we have access. In the letter, he indicated that he spent $7 trillion on these countries, so they must adhere to his orders. Well, Trump, you have spent all this money to dominate Syria and Iraq, but you couldn’t do it; you will go to hell with your failures. … This man’s corpse will also be worm food while IRI [the Islamic Republic of Iran] stands strong.”
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