Meta Removes Facebook, Instagram Accounts Of Iran’s Supreme Leader

Iran cyber - Shutterstock - © Duc Dao

Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has his Facebook and Instagram accounts permanently removed by Meta

Meta Platforms has stepped into the ongoing geopolitical tensions between the United States and Iran, with a notable move against that country’s Supreme Leader.

The Guardian newspaper reported that Meta has confirmed on Friday it has permanently removed Instagram and Facebook accounts run on behalf of Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

It comes after Khamenei supported Hamas, which is the terrorist group that carried out the 7 October attack on Israel that sparked the months-long war still raging in the Gaza Strip, as well as the shipping crisis in the Red Sea.

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Meta accounts

According to the Guardian, Meta offered no specifics about its reasoning, but it reportedly said it removed the accounts “for repeatedly violating our Dangerous Organisations and Individuals policy”.

“We do not allow organisations or individuals that proclaim a violent mission or are engaged in violence to have a presence on our platforms,” the policy states. That includes those designated as terrorists by the US government.

It was reported that Khamenei’s main Instagram account had over 5 million followers before its removal.

Iran’s mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment, the Guardian reported.

The Facebook and Instragram accounts associated with the Iranian supreme leader had reportedly praised the Hamas attack on Israel that killed 1,200 people and saw about 250 others taken hostage.

Immediately after the attack, Khamenei backed Hamas in a speech, saying: “We kiss the hands of those who planned the attack on the Zionist regime.”

Iran has long been accused of arming Hamas, which carried out the attack against Israel, as well as the Houthis in Yemen who have been attacking international shipping.

Twitter account

However it seems that Khamenei still maintains an account on Elon Musk’s X (formerly Twitter).

That account is still posting messages of support for Gaza, and the cruelty of Western civilisations.

Elon Musk touts himself as a ‘free speech absolutist‘, and has restored the accounts of former President Donald Trump, and the conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, who is best known for repeatedly asserting that the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting was a staged event designed to build support for stricter gun laws.

But Musk has also removed the accounts of prominent critics or those against whom he has a personal grievance, including software developer Travis Brown, a private jet tracking service built by Jack Sweeney, several journalists who wrote about the jet tracking account suspension, and Aaron Greenspan, founder of legal and public records database PlainSite.