Khamenei takes to Twitter for final criticism of Sharon
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Khamenei takes to Twitter for final criticism of Sharon

Social media account associated with Iran's supreme leader quotes speeches in which he called former PM 'vampire,' 'vulture'

Ilan Ben Zion, a reporter at the Associated Press, is a former news editor at The Times of Israel. He holds a Masters degree in Diplomacy from Tel Aviv University and an Honors Bachelors degree from the University of Toronto in Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, Jewish Studies, and English.

In this picture released by the official website of the Iranian supreme leader's office, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, center, President Hasan Rouhani, right, and outgoing president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, sit, in an official endorsement ceremony for Rouhani, in Tehran, Iran on Saturday, August 3. (photo credit: AP Photo/Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader)
In this picture released by the official website of the Iranian supreme leader's office, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, center, President Hasan Rouhani, right, and outgoing president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, sit, in an official endorsement ceremony for Rouhani, in Tehran, Iran on Saturday, August 3. (photo credit: AP Photo/Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader)

Hours after the announcement of former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon’s death, a Twitter feed associated with Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Saturday tweeted quotes from the Shiite leader critical of the general-turned-statesman.

Sharon had been in a coma for almost exactly eight years since suffering a massive stroke, and died Saturday afternoon at age 85.

Quoting from previous speeches by the supreme leader, @Khamenei_ir variously called Sharon a “vampire” and a “vulture” and Israel’s “last hope.” While world leaders voiced sorrow at the loss of one of Israel’s greats, Iran stood out in its criticism of the man.

“He (#Sharon) was their last hope. However from the first day when he came into power, the #Palestinian Intifada gained in flames,” Khamenei said in 2002, referring to the Second Intifada. “The Zionists’ all hopes relied on this vulture (Ariel #Sharon) to bring down the rising nation of #Palestine to their knees.”

Ariel Sharon stands in front of the Temple Mount during his term as prime minister in July 2000 (file photo: Flash90)
Ariel Sharon stands in front of the Temple Mount during his term as prime minister in July 2000 (file photo: Flash90)

“It’s revolting when the devils who have constantly praised #terrorists’ crimes of the #vampires like #Sharon against the Palestinians,” he said in 2006.

https://twitter.com/khamenei_ir/status/422085644127436800

Sharon, who is to be laid to rest Monday at his family home at Shikmim Farm, was one of the few Israeli leaders to have traveled to Iran, in 1966, more than a decade before the rise of the Islamic Republic.

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