Although it is a blocked network in the country, the Iranian authorities join the Twitter diplomacy established by Donald Trump in his four years in office. The Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, turned to this social network to remind the former US president that “revenge is inevitable. The murderer of Suleimani and the one who ordered the murder of Suleimani must suffer revenge. The message is accompanied by an image that shows a golf course and a red polo player who resembles Trump under the shadow of a drone. Twitter has kept the magnate’s account closed since he encouraged the assault on the Capitol in Washington, so he could not respond to the Leader of the Islamic Republic.
Khamenei’s threat coincides with the first anniversary of the assassination of General Qassem Suleimani, who was killed last January by a US drone near Baghdad’s international airport. The Iranians clamored for vengeance for the death of the person who devised the militia system loyal to Tehran throughout the region and who was key in the battle against the caliphate.
The first response came within days with the firing of missiles against military bases in Iraq used by Americans and some soldiers were injured, but Tehran insisted that it was only the first part of the revenge. In the course of that operation, an Iranian missile accidentally hit a Ukrainian passenger plane and killed all its occupants. Another consequence of the assassination was that the Iraqi Parliament passed a motion demanding the withdrawal of US troops from the country.
At the grand first anniversary ceremony held at the University of Tehran, Iranian Chief Justice Ebrahim Raisi said that “there is no safe place on earth for murderers” of Suleimani, considered a martyr for the nation. The Islamic Republic points to Trump as responsible for giving the green light to the murder and its Leader has transferred this threat to social networks.
In addition to the murder of Suleimani, Trump was in charge of withdrawing the United States from the nuclear pact signed in 2015 by his predecessor in the White House, Barack Obama, and he again imposed sanctions on the Islamic republic. The objective of the former president, supported by his two great regional allies and enemies of Tehran, Israel and Saudi Arabia, was to apply maximum pressure to the Islamic republic to force it to renegotiate an agreement that he described as the “worst possible agreement.” In addition to limiting the nuclear program, Trump wanted to expand the pact to include curbing the ballistic program and the growing Iranian presence in the region through allied militias such as Hezbollah or Hamas.
The two years of sanctions have devastated Iran’s economy, but the regime has not budged and is now reaching out to Joe Biden to resurrect the terms agreed to five years ago. Although data managed by the sector indicates that Iran’s oil exports have plunged from 2.8 million barrels a day in 2018 to 300,000 in 2020, Bijan Zanganeh, Minister of Petroleum, spoke of a “significant” rise in sales in recent weeks despite the lockdown. Zanganeh did not offer concrete numbers, but indicated that “we have set the record for exports during the embargo.” The sale of crude oil is the country’s main source of income.