Social media sites, especially Twitter and Instagram, are standing in the way of the mullah regime on the second anniversary of the killing of Iranian Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani, who was assassinated in a US strike in Iraq on January 3, 2020, as a number of Iranians and regime media launched a number of hashtags on Twitter and published a number of pictures of Soleimani on Instagram in support of the late Quds Force commander, vowing to avenge him and take revenge on the United States, including the hashtag #We_Are_Qassem, #Martyr_Soleimani, #Qassem_Soleimani, and others in English supported by Iranian intelligence, among them #Hero, #Commander, #QassemSoleimani, and others.
Twitter and Soleimani
As a result, Twitter and Instagram blocked thousands of Iranian accounts and deleted thousands of posts for publishing content about Soleimani. Iran responded to that, accusing the United States of being behind this online campaign. Iranian government spokesman Ali Bahadori Jahromi said in press statements to the official Iranian news agency IRNA that “blocking the hashtag #Hero from the internet is an extension of that ruthless American spirit and a terrorist crime,” adding that “this cowardly American act is a flagrant violation of freedom of expression and human rights against the feelings of millions of individuals around the world.”
For his part, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei commented on this in a tweet via his official account, saying, “The martyr Soleimani is an immortal truth and alive forever, and those who fought him like Trump and his ilk are buried in the dustbin of history; of course, after they receive their earthly retribution,” while Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi added, “Retribution must be carried out against Trump in retaliation for the blood of Qassem Soleimani.”
Despite the regime supporters’ rejection of social media sites blocking them and deleting their tweets about Soleimani, a number of Iranian activists who reject the policies of the mullah regime supported the measure taken by social media sites and denounced the celebration of Soleimani at a time when the Iranian people are suffering from poverty, the collapse of the country’s local currency, and the lack of services and internet in several places in Iran. One activist published a video of some Iranians tearing pictures of Soleimani hanging on walls in Iranian streets.
Regarding this, Dr. Masoud Ibrahim Hassan, a researcher specializing in Iranian affairs, said that what happened from the American platforms Twitter and Instagram with regard to Soleimani is a re-execution of the mullah regime by American hands in front of Iran, the aim of which is to obliterate any memory of the late Quds Force commander in Iran.
Hassan pointed out in a special statement to the Reference that the United States wanted via this block to send two messages to the mullah regime, the first of which was to remind the regime of its failure and its ridiculous response to the incident of Washington’s assassination of Soleimani, as well as its failure to protect a military figure such as Soleimani, who was one of the most prominent figures in Iran.
He added that the second message came within the framework of Washington’s pressure policy on the Iranian regime in all directions in order to curb its nuclear tendencies, especially after it recently proved that Tehran is not worthy of the ongoing nuclear talks in Vienna and that it is only wasting time.