Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, tweeted a photo of President Barack Obama committing suicide. The photo has been retweeted more than 1,000 times. Here’s what we know so far.
1. The Tweet Showed Obama Holding a Gun to His Head
The tweet by the Ayatollah showed a silhouette of what appears to be Obama, standing next to the American flag, with a gun pointed to his head. The graphic reads: “If any war happens, the one who will emerge loser will be the aggressive and criminal U.S.” The tweet was posted on July 25, but the wording was similar to another tweet sent out by the same account on July 18.
2. The Twitter Account is Not Verified, but It is Believed to Belong to the Ayatollah
The Twitter account, @khamenei_ir, has not been officially verified by Twitter. However, the account is long believed to belong to the Ayatollah, according to USA Today. Similarly, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has a Twitter account widely believed to be his but unverified by Twitter.
3. The Tweet Came Shortly after Iran Reached a Nuclear Deal with the United States
Obama has not issued a statement in response to the tweet. The tweet came just three days after Iran reached a nuclear deal with the United States and other countries, USA Today reported. The nuclear deal would lift economic sanctions in exchange for limits on Iran’s nuclear program. Last weekend, the Ayatollah said that U.S. policies in the Middle East were opposite of Iran’s and he vowed to defy those policies even after a nuclear agreement was reached, The Washington Times reported.
4. The Ayatollah Has a History of Negative Tweets Against the United States
This is not the first time the Ayatollah has released a negative tweet disparaging the United States or disagreeing with United States policies. For example, he tweeted extensively under the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter during the Baltimore riots in April. In 2014, he tweeted about “The Grapes of Wrath” and how it displayed the truth about the freedom of the press.
5. The Graphic has Been Retweeted More than 1,000 Times
The graphic has gained huge popularity and widespread discussion, being retweeted more than 1,000 times. The responses to the tweet range from comedic disbelief to serious concern. One Twitter user posted: “Are you 5 years old? Grow up!” Another was quick to ask, “is that Obama?” Another person sarcastically asked, “are RTs endorsements?” And another person on Twitter chose compassion (and humor) instead with the tweet: “Someone needs a hug…”