There’s nothing diplomatic about Twitter war between US and Iran leaders

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Despite calls to de-escalate tensions, US President Donald Trump and Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei have been engaging in an undiplomatic spat on Twitter.

As Iran attacked bases hosting US troops in Iraq following the assassination of Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani, Trump and Khamenei took the fight to social media.

Their Twitter war began when pro-Iranian protesters stormed the US Embassy in Baghdad on New Year’s Eve. In a series of increasingly hostile and threatening exchanges, the leaders have launched insults at each other and threatened military action as tensions on the ground show no sign of easing.

Below, we list 10 of the top tweets from their recent exchanges:

1. Most recently, US President Donald Trump tweeted in Farsi addressing the Iranian people, who he said deserve a better government.

Trump Farsi tweet (Screengrab - NOT CROPPED)
Trump Farsi tweet (Screengrab - NOT CROPPED)

The translation of Trump’s tweet read: “The noble people of Iran, who love America, deserve a government that will help them achieve their dreams, rather than focusing on killing them for revenge. Instead of dragging Iran to ruin, Iran’s leaders must put aside the terrorists and make Iran great again!”

2. This came in response to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s tweet that called the US government “villainous.”

“The villainous US govt repeatedly says that they are standing by the Iranian ppl. They lie. If you are standing by the Iranian ppl, it is only to stab them in the heart with your venomous daggers. Of course, you have so far failed to do so, & you will certainly continue to fail.”

3. Khamenei’s accusation came in response to another of Trump’s tweets saying that he stood with the Iranian people.

“To the brave, long-suffering people of Iran: I’ve stood with you since the beginning of my Presidency, and my Administration will continue to stand with you. We are following your protests closely, and are inspired by your courage.”

4. Trump also tweeted on January 18, saying the Supreme Leader had “not been so Supreme lately.”

“The so-called “Supreme Leader” of Iran, who has not been so Supreme lately, had some nasty things to say about the United States and Europe. Their economy is crashing, and their people are suffering. He should be very careful with his words!”

5. Following the storming of the US Embassy in Baghdad, Trump tweeted that “Iran would be held fully responsible.”

“The U.S. Embassy in Iraq is, & has been for hours, SAFE! Many of our great Warfighters, together with the most lethal military equipment in the world, was immediately rushed to the site. Thank you to the President & Prime Minister of Iraq for their rapid response upon request....
....Iran will be held fully responsible for lives lost, or damage incurred, at any of our facilities. They will pay a very BIG PRICE! This is not a Warning, it is a Threat. Happy New Year!”

6. In response, Khamenei said “You can’t do anything,” adding that Trump was illogical and suggesting the US was hated.

“That guy has tweeted that we see Iran responsible for the events in Baghdad & we will respond to Iran. 1st: You can’t do anything. 2nd: If you were logical —which you’re not— you’d see that your crimes in Iraq, Afghanistan… have made nations hate you.”

7. Following Soleimani’s death on January 3, Khamenei took to Twitter saying “a #SevereRevenge awaits the criminals who have stained their hands with his…. blood.”

“His efforts & path won’t be stopped by his martyrdom, by God’s Power, rather a #SevereRevenge awaits the criminals who have stained their hands with his & the other martyrs’ blood last night. Martyr Soleimani is an Intl figure of Resistance & all such people will seek revenge. /3”

8. Trump responded by threatening that if Iran were to strike any American or US assets, the US would target 52 Iranian sites.

“Let this serve as a WARNING that if Iran strikes any Americans, or American assets, we have....

....targeted 52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago), some at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture, and those targets, and Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD. The USA wants no more threats!”

9. Khamenei hit back using the phrase “American clowns,” echoing language he used in his recent Friday sermon, the first he has delivered since 2012.

“With their turnout in the 10s of millions for Martyr #Soleimani’s funeral, the Iranian nation showed they support #resistance against the enemy’s aggression.
These American clowns lie in utter viciousness that they stand with the Iranian people. See who the people of #Iran are.”

10. Before the killing of Soleimani, Khamenei wrote that US officials were disappointed that Iran was not “done” and their plans had not worked out.

“A senior official of the country said a foreign politician said during the recent riots he had heard the stupid U.S. officials in Washington say happily, “Iran is done this time!”

He said when the events had finished, the Americans were very upset that it hadn’t worked again.

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