Iranian Revolutionary Guard Commander Qassem Soleimani (left) stands on the frontlines during an offensive operation against Islamic State in the town of Tal Ksaiba, in Iraq, in 2015.
(photo credit: STRINGER/ REUTERS)
It is not exactly Egyptian president Anwar Sadat landing in Tel Aviv in 1977, but an Iranian minister made history of sorts this week by interacting with Israeli through a formal Israeli diplomatic channel.
The channel was Israel’s Twitter feed in Persian, run by the Foreign Ministry, and the interaction was negative. But still, for a country that refuses to call Israel by its name, and whose wrestlers would rather lose than trade holds with Zionist grapplers, having Iran’s Minister of Information Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi respond on an official Israeli site was noteworthy.
The exchange began on Tuesday, when the Israeli Twitter account in Persian – followed by 97,800 people – trumpeted Instagram’s recent decision to close the official page of Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds force.
“Instagram closes Qasem Soleimani’s official page,” a translation of the tweet read, over a picture of a scowling Soleimani. “You yourself choose this, cannot blame anyone else...”
That tweet garnered 403 retweets, 4,300 likes and 1,100 comments, including one by Jahromi himself.
Jahromi, who, at 36 is the youngest Iranian minister and the only one born after the 1979 Islamic revolution, tweeted a response: “When you tear out a man’s tongue, you aren’t proving him a liar, you’re only telling the world that you FEAR what he might say.” He hashtagged the tweet, #GameOfThrones and #TheRegionRemembers.
Not to be undone, the Foreign Ministry responded: “When you tear out the tongues of millions of Iranians, by blocking Twitter and Facebook in your country, I think you fear what THEY might say.”
Following the US decision earlier this month to designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization, Instagram on Tuesday suspended Soleimani’s official page, which had some 1,732 followers and 192 posts.
Efforts to access the account on Thursday were met with the response: “Sorry, this page isn’t available.”
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