After the inauguration of Joe Biden, an Iranian state-run news organization tweeted out a picture of Donald Trump playing Golf. It’s an aerial shot and Trump is in midswing. The familiar triangular shadow of a stealth bomber covers Trump. “Revenge is certain,” read the Farsi text superimposed on the image. The image is also on the home page of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
"REVENGE IS DEFINITE: Soleimani’s murderers and those who ordered his murder must face revenge," it says. "Although as a dear friend said, Soleimani’s shoe is more valuable than his murderer’s head. But they committed a crime and must face revenge. Both the murderers and those who ordered it should know that revenge may come at any time.”
The insinuation is obvious: Iran promises to bomb and kill Donald Trump in the same way he bombed and killed Iranian Major General Qasem Soleiman last year. This is similar to when Russia visualized its new nukes hitting Mar-a-Lago, though perhaps more pointed of a threat.
Twitter has since suspended the account but Khamenei maintains several others. Tasnim News Agency, an independent Iranian outlet with ties to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, also tweeted the image but has since removed it.
The words in the ad come from a speech Khamenei delivered just before the anniversary of the U.S. assassination of Soleimani.
The promise of personal revenge against Trump comes at a time when relations are cooling between Iran and the U.S. Trump pulled America out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), a deal with the aim of preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, and slammed the country with heavy sanctions. Iran has begun to enrich uranium to 20 percent, a possible precursor to building a nuclear weapon. Both Biden and Iran had indicated that they’re open to a return to the negotiating table.
Despite a de-escalation of tension in official circles, the meme promising revenge against Trump is proof that the former President’s shadow will loom as large as that of a stealth bomber over international relations going forward.