The Instagram accounts of at least three commanders of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei were suspended on Tuesday, only a day after the US officially designated it as a foreign terrorist organization.
The accounts that were suspended included those of Major-General Qasem Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force, Major-General Mohammad Ali Jafari, the commander-in-chief of the IRGC, and Brigadier-General Mohammed Pakpour, the commander of the IRGC Ground Forces.
Instagram also suspended Khamenei’s Instagram account in English on Tuesday. The Iranian Supreme Leader’s (@khamenei.en) account had at least 21,400 followers before it was suspended. His main Farsi account on Instagram with 2.5 million followers is still online.
The reasons for the suspension of the accounts were not immediately clear.
The United States officially designated Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a foreign terrorist organization, according to a notice published in the US Federal Register on Monday.
The IRGC is in charge of Iran’s ballistic missile and nuclear programs and is also involved with the country’s banking and shipping industries.
The new designation makes it easier to prosecute companies or people in the European Union that do business with Iran.