US President Donald Trump was mocked by Iranians on Tuesday, as some claimed he had mixed up the country’s current supreme leader with his predecessor who died 30 years ago.
“The assets of Ayatollah Khamenei and his office will not be spared by these sanctions,” Trump said Monday as he announced new measures against Iran’s supreme leader and top officials.
But some Iranians said Trump’s pronunciation of the name sounded far closer to “Khomeini.” The Islamic Republic’s founder and revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini died in 1989, and the country has since been led by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
“Trump doesn’t know that Ayatollah Khomeini has passed away and that Ayatollah Khamenei is the leader of Iran,” tweeted Sara Masoumi, diplomatic correspondent for the reformist daily Etemad.
“Has this narcissist been waiting for (a dead man) to call him?” wrote another Twitter user, after Trump last month said he would like Iran to phone him.
One social media user suggested “Trump took revenge” for Khamenei reportedly mispronouncing the president’s name as Ronald.
President Trump has just signed an executive order to deny Iran's Supreme Leader and his associates access to key financial resources and support. pic.twitter.com/14qE9iUe61
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) June 24, 2019
But one Twitter user suggested there was a plot in the White House to make the US president “look like a lunatic!”
The US on Monday imposed sanctions on Khamenei and a string of military chiefs, tightening pressure on the country.
Trump called the move a “strong and proportionate response to Iran’s increasingly provocative actions.”
Trump said it was now up to Tehran to negotiate.
Tensions are running high after Iran shot down a US spy drone last week and Trump considered, then canceled, a retaliatory strike.