Meta Takes Down Iran Supreme Leader’s Social Media Accounts After Pro-Hamas Posts

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Meta did not specify the exact way in which the Iranian leader violated its policy.

Meta has taken down the Facebook and Instagram accounts linked to Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei amid criticism over his pro-Hamas posts following the Oct. 7 terror attack on Israel.

The California-based parent company of the platforms said on Feb. 9 that it removed the Iranian leader’s social media accounts “for repeatedly violating our Dangerous Organizations and Individuals policy.”

Meta did not specify the exact way in which the Iranian leader violated its policy.

“We do not allow organizations or individuals that proclaim a violent mission or are engaged in violence to have a presence on our platforms,” the policy states, according to The Associated Press.

“That includes those designated as terrorists by the U.S. government,” it added.

The move comes as Meta has come under pressure to remove Khamenei’s social media accounts for supporting Hamas’ attack. Jonathan Greenblatt, head of the Anti-Defamation League, hailed Meta’s decision.

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“We’ve long asked @Meta to take down the Facebook & Instagram accounts of Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei & applaud that it’s finally happened,” Mr. Greenblatt stated on X.

“He’s used these platforms for years to incite violent antisemitism, to legitimize militant antizionism and to make genocidal threats,” he added.

The Iranian leader still has an account on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, which is owned by Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

Khamenei’s use of Facebook has drawn criticism in the past. The social network platform has been banned in Iran since its 2009 disputed presidential election and the Green Movement protests that followed.

Iran began blocking Instagram and Meta’s WhatsApp messaging service after the protests over the death of Mahsa Amini, who died after she was arrested for allegedly violating Iran’s mandatory headscarf law.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei meets with Palestinian group Hamas' top leader, Ismail Haniyeh, in Tehran, Iran, on June 21, 2023. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader/WANA/Reuters)
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei meets with Palestinian group Hamas’ top leader, Ismail Haniyeh, in Tehran, Iran, on June 21, 2023. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader/WANA/Reuters)

The Iranian leader has publicly praised the Hamas terrorist group for its Oct. 7, 2023, attack on Israel that killed 1,200 people, during which Hamas also took some 250 hostage. Khamenei hailed Hamas’ action but denied Iran’s involvement in the attack.

“We kiss the hands of those who planned the attack on the Zionist regime,” he said in a televised address on Oct. 10, 2023.

“This destructive earthquake [Hamas’ attack] has destroyed some critical structures [in Israel] which will not be repaired easily. The Zionist regime’s own actions are to blame for this disaster.”

Although there has been no clear evidence that Iran was directly involved in Hamas’ unprecedented terrorist attacks on Israel on Oct. 7, the Islamist regime has consistently been the largest supporter of Hamas.

The Iranian regime considers the state of Israel illegitimate and has long advocated for its elimination, funding various proxy forces that align with that goal.

The day after Hamas began its surprise attack on Israel, Abu Obaidah, spokesman for Al-Qassem Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, gave credit to Iran for enabling the massacre.

“We thank the Islamic Republic of Iran, who provided us with weapons, money, and other equipment,” he said in a video. “It gave us missiles to destroy Zionist fortresses and helped us with standard anti-tank missiles.”

According to a 2020 report by the U.S. State Department, Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups have collectively received up to $100 million per year from Iran.

Petr Svab and the Associated Press contributed to this report.



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