Meta has taken down the Facebook and Instagram accounts linked to Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei amid criticism over his pro-Hamas posts following the Oct. 7, 2023, terror attack on Israel.
The California-based parent company of the platforms stated on Feb. 9 that it removed the Iranian leader’s social media accounts “for repeatedly violating” the company’s Dangerous Organizations and Individuals policy.
Meta did not specify the exact way in which the Iranian leader violated its policy.
“We do not allow organizations or individuals that proclaim a violent mission or are engaged in violence to have a presence on our platforms,” the policy states, according to the Associated Press.
“That includes those designated as terrorists by the U.S. government.”
The move comes as Meta has come under pressure to remove Mr. Khamenei’s social media accounts for supporting Hamas’s attack. Jonathan Greenblatt, head of the Anti-Defamation League, hailed Meta’s decision.
“He’s used these platforms for years to incite violent antisemitism, to legitimize militant antizionism and to make genocidal threats.”
The Iranian leader still has an account on X, which is owned by Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
Mr. Khamenei’s use of Facebook has drawn criticism in the past. The social network platform has been banned in Iran since its 2009 disputed presidential election and the Green Movement protests that followed.
Iran began blocking Instagram and Meta’s WhatsApp messaging service after the protests over the death of Mahsa Amini, who died after she was arrested for allegedly violating Iran’s mandatory headscarf law.
The Iranian leader has publicly praised the Hamas terrorist group for its Oct. 7, 2023, attack on Israel that killed 1,200 people, during which Hamas also took some 250 people hostage. Mr. Khamenei hailed Hamas’s action but denied Iran’s involvement in the attack.
“This destructive earthquake [Hamas’s attack] has destroyed some critical structures [in Israel] which will not be repaired easily. The Zionist regime’s own actions are to blame for this disaster.”
The Iranian regime considers the state of Israel illegitimate and has long advocated its elimination, funding various proxy forces that align with that goal.
The day after Hamas began its surprise attack on Israel, Abu Obaida, spokesman for Al-Qassem Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, gave credit to Iran for enabling the massacre.
“We thank the Islamic Republic of Iran, who provided us with weapons, money, and other equipment,” he said in a video. “It gave us missiles to destroy Zionist fortresses and helped us with standard anti-tank missiles.”