Dubai: Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, has taken to twitter to denounce the US government’s handling of civil unrest in Ferguson, Missouri.
In a series of tweets, The Ayatollah suggested strong links between the domestic unrest which has rocked the town in recent weeks and the United States’ support for Israel in the occupied territories. As well as offering commentary of Human Rights and race relations in the United States.
The National Guard was called in to restore order after looting and violence broke out as a result of peaceful protests against the police shooting of Michael Brown. Missouri law enforcement agencies and Governor Jay Nixon have both faced widespread criticism over their handling of what began as peaceful political demonstrations.
On Monday, Khamenei tweeted “The day when American nation realize their socioeconomic problems stem from domination of #Israel over their govt, what’ll happen?”, and he has not been afraid to embrace the hashtag culture, using #Ferguson in several tweets over the past few days. Later that day he also tweeted “Once Americans realize you’ve sacrificed their interests for #Israel to stay in power a few more days, what’ll they do 2u?” indicating that Israeli influence in Washington may be leading US domestic policy astray.
He also referenced racial elements of the unrest in Ferguson in tweets from last week when he tweeted “Racial discrimination’s still a dilemma in US. Still ppl are unsecure for having dark skins.” The rant went on to accuse the US government of being the biggest violator of human rights in tweets, however returned on several occasions to criticism of Israel such as his suggestion that “Brutal treatment of black ppl isn’t indeed the only anti-human rights act by US govt; look at US’s green light to #Israel’s crimes. #Ferguson”.
The tweets, which are likely to irritate US policymakers, were released from Khamenei’s English language account which has over 70,000 followers and circulated widely on social media. Khamenei has been a regular user of the social media sight since joining in 2009, the account is often used to tweet updates of his public appearances and commentary on international affairs.
Whilst Iranian president Hassan Rouhani has, in recent times, attempted to use twitter to soften his country’s image it would appear that Khamenei has no such preoccupation.
— The writer is an intern with Gulf News