'Delete. Your. Account.'

Netanyahu tells Iranian foreign minister to quit Twitter

Responding to Zarif’s post in support of Revolutionary Guard, PM says ordinary Iranians aren’t proud of a group that murders innocent people

Raphael Ahren is the diplomatic correspondent at The Times of Israel.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif attends a press conference in Berlin on June 27, 2017. (John Macdougall/AFP)
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif attends a press conference in Berlin on June 27, 2017. (John Macdougall/AFP)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday called on Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to shut down his Twitter account.

In a video message posted to his own social media accounts, Netanyahu attacked Zarif for having tweeted on Saturday that all Iranians, including women and children, support the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. A branch of the Iranian army, the IRGC was in the news lately as the US administration leveled additional sanctions against its officials and threatened to declare it a foreign terrorist organization.

“I hope you’re sitting down, because this one’s a whopper,” Netanyahu said at the beginning of the short clip, before citing Zarif’s tweet.

“I’d love to know what the Iranian people think of that tweet,” Netanyahu said. “Sadly, the regime bans them from using Twitter. Ironic, don’t you think?”

“Apparently I have a higher opinion of the Iranian people than their leaders. See, I’m sure that ordinary Iranians aren’t proud when the Revolutionary Guard murders innocent men and women around the globe. I’m sure that ordinary Iranian mothers and fathers wouldn’t have blown up a Jewish community center in Argentina filled with little children. Because that’s what the the Revolutionary Guard did.”

Netanyahu was referring to the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish Center in Buenos Aires, which killed 85 people.

“Iran initiated, planned and carried out these horrible attacks through its proxy, Hezbollah” Netanyahu said during a ceremony at the site of the bombing last month. Top IRGC leaders, such as former defense minister Ahmad Vahidi, were also involved in the attack.

“I am sure that ordinary Iranians want to live in peace and don’t want their government to shoot students in the streets, hang gays from cranes, torture journalists in prison,” Netanyahu said in the video, posted on Monday.

“One day the Iranian people will be free. Free to tweet, free to express how they felt when their dictators compared them to the Iranian version of ISIS. So I have a simple message for Iran’s foreign minister: Delete. Your. Account.”

Zarif’s controversial tweet garnered more than 5,000 “Likes” and was retweeted nearly 900 times. Almost 2,000 Twitter users responded to the post, including many Iranians opposed to the regime and the IRGC.

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