A US civil rights group called on Twitter to permanently shut down the accounts of Iran’s supreme leader on the social media platform, citing a flurry of posts on Iran’s annual Quds (Jerusalem) Day on Friday that it said were anti-Semitic.
Citing several tweets posted by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s Twitter accounts, the Anti-Defamation League accused Iran’s top leader of spreading “numerous age-old anti-Jewish myths” and casting doubt upon the Holocaust.
“These constitute forms of blatant, explicit, and egregious anti-Semitism,” ADL said.
Friday marked Iran’s annual Quds Day, which is held on the last Friday of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.
Tehran says the day is an occasion to express support for the Palestinian cause.
In a televised speech marking the occasion, Khamenei said Israel was not a state but a “terrorist garrison” against the Palestinians and urged Muslim countries to keep fighting against it.
ADL urged Twitter to stop hosting Khamenei’s accounts, who it described as “the worst propagator of state-sponsored anti-Semitism in the world.”
“The conduct of Twitter profiles attributed to Khamenei on just a single day – Friday, May 7th – provide a chilling reminder of why all such accounts need to be shut down without delay,” ADL said.
Major social media networks, including Facebook and Twitter, have been banned in Iran since 2009.
Despite the ban, many high-ranking Iranian officials are active on Twitter.
Besides Khamenei, President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also have Twitter accounts.
Iranian activists have repeatedly called on Twitter to ban the accounts of regime officials as long as ordinary Iranians are denied access to the social media platform.