Twitter said on Friday it had permanently banned what it called a "fake" account thought to be connected to the office of Iran's supreme leader, shortly after a posting that seemed to threaten former President Donald Trump.
Trump left office on Wednesday and flew straight to his Mar-a-Lago golf club in Florida, without attending the inauguration of his successor President Joe Biden.
A Twitter spokeswoman said the @khamenei-site account was suspended for violating the company's platform manipulation and spam policy, specifically against the creation of fake accounts.
Iran's supreme leader has issued a chilling threat to Donald Trump on Twitter. It was created in July 2020 and shared articles from Khamenei's official website, including the image of the golfing man. Khamenei's main English language account had followed it and his Farsi-language account had retweeted it. The website included a longer English translation of Khamenei's comments from previous year.
The @Khamenei_site account had 8,000 followers while another Twitter account linked to the supreme leader, 2Khamenei_ir, has 880,000 followers and remains active, according to Atlantic Council IranSource Editor Holly Dagres.
Trump was banned from the platform for inciting an attack on the U.S. Capitol earlier this month. In his speech, Khamenei did not call out Trump by name, but reiterated a vow for vengeance against those who ordered and executed the attack on Soleimani.
"Both the murderers and those who ordered it should know that revenge may come at any time", said the comments on top of the image, which showed the shadow of a drone looming over the lone golfer. While top officials have unfettered access to social media, Iran's youth and tech-savvy citizens use proxy servers or other workarounds to bypass the controls.
Earlier this month, Twitter removed a tweet by Khamenei in which he said US and British-made vaccines were unreliable and may be meant to "contaminate other nations", as Breitbart News reported.