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Iranian leader posts animatic showing Trump being assassinated

The website of Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei has published an animated video that appears to show a robot calling in a drone strike to assassinate US president Donald Trump. 

The animated video was part of a contest to mark the anniversary from the killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleiman on January 3 2020 from an American drone strike in Baghdad.  

Titled ‘Revenge is inevitable’, the video appears to show Trump on the golf course at Mar-a-Lago, Florida, being targeted in a drone strike.   

The video shows Trump, on the golf course at Mar-a-Lago, Florida, being targeted in a drone strike

Ayatollah Khamenei's website publishes animated video of operation to assassinate Trump

Ayatollah Khamenei’s website publishes animated video of operation to assassinate Trump

The video mirrored a propaganda poster last year also showing Mr. Trump on a golf course, calling for revenge for General Soleimani’s killing. 

Earlier this month, Iran’s hard-line President Ebrahim Raisi demanded Mr Trump be ‘prosecuted and killed’.

‘If not, I’m telling all American leaders, don’t doubt that the hand of revenge will come out of the sleeves of ummah,’ Mr Raisi said, referring to the worldwide community of Muslims.

The video, posted on Wednesday, opens with an image of what is supposed to be Trump’s house in Palm Beach. 

An American flag can be seen on the golf course where Trump, who is wearing a MAGA cap, is standing with four other men.

The video suddenly cuts to a small remote-controlled vehicle which has a camera on it. It then cuts to a drone operator in an office filled with screens following the vehicle. 

The drone operator, who has a photo of Soleimani next to his screen, then hacks into a nearby CCTV camera and a message pops up saying ‘access granting’ – meaning the remote-controlled vehicle can move without being noticed.  

The video is published on the 2nd year anniversary from the killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani

The video is published on the 2nd year anniversary from the killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani

The video then shows aerial footage of a drone as it approaches Trump’s Mar-a-Lago while the vehicle moves in on the former President at the golf course. 

The drone operator then manages to hack into Trump’s phone and another man’s phone, and a message appears which reads: ‘Soleimani’s murderer and the one who gave the order will pay the price’. 

The drone then flies directly over Trump and a green box appears on the screen around the former President as he reads the message on his phone. 

The video then suddenly cuts to a black screen with a message with reads: ‘Revenge is definite’.    

The video shows Mr Trump, on the golf course at Mar-a-Lago, Florida, being targeted in a drone strike

The video shows Mr Trump, on the golf course at Mar-a-Lago, Florida, being targeted in a drone strike

Khamenei, in a statement accompanying the video posted on his website, said the video was released ‘on the eve of the second anniversary of the martyrdom of General Haj Qasem Soleimani and the accompanying martyrs based on the statements of Ayatollah Khamenei about Martyr Soleimani’.

Khamenei is quoted as telling Soleimani’s family: ‘Martyr Soleimani is permanent, he is alive forever.

‘Those who martyred him – Trump and his ilk – are in the dustbin of history and will be forgotten in the dustbin of history, but he is alive forever.

‘The martyr is like this and his enemies will be lost and buried. Of course, God willing, they will be lost and buried after they pay the price for their worldliness.’

Iran released another fake propaganda video last year in May which depicts the United States Capitol being blown up by a missile and Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards ‘liberating’ Jerusalem.

The Islamic Republic’s Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) broadcast the video on Iranian state-run television before a televised speech to the nation by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

The video opens with armed IRGC troops marching in formation. In the next shot a missile is seen being launched at an undisclosed location, following by the sight of the US Capitol imploding in a fiery blaze. 

Moments later, Iranian clerics are seen walking toward Jerusalem, the holy city at the crux of the Israel-Palestine dispute.  

Iran¿s elite Revolutionary Guards released a chilling propaganda video which depicts the United States Capitol being blown up

Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards released a chilling propaganda video which depicts the United States Capitol being blown up 

The Islamic Republic¿s Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) broadcast the video on Iranian state-run television on Sunday before a televised speech to the nation by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. The video shows armed IRGC troops marching in formation

The Islamic Republic’s Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) broadcast the video on Iranian state-run television on Sunday before a televised speech to the nation by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. The video shows armed IRGC troops marching in formation

According to Kasra Aarabi, an analyst at the Tony Blair Institute, the music playing in the background of the video is a Shia Islamist song.

 The lyrics to the song describe the Capitol as a ‘palace of oppression’ which was ‘destroyed by the Alavi (Imam Ali’s) IRGC, and the good news of the liberation of Quds (Jerusalem) arrives from Iran.’

Imam Ali is considered a central figure of Shi’ite Islam. Shi’ites view Ali as the rightful heir to the Prophet Muhammad while Sunnis consider him as fourth in line, prompting the Sunni-Shi’ite split within Islam.

Senator Pat Toomey, a Republican from Pennsylvania, reacted to the video by demanding that the Biden administration resist Iranian calls to lift sanctions put in place by the Trump administration. 

In the next image, a missile is seen being launched at an undisclosed location

In the next image, a missile is seen being launched at an undisclosed location

Moments later, Iranian clerics are seen walking toward Jerusalem, the holy city at the crux of the Israel-Palestine dispute

Moments later, Iranian clerics are seen walking toward Jerusalem, the holy city at the crux of the Israel-Palestine dispute

‘Last week, Iran’s chief diplomat allegedly admitted the IRGC calls the shots in Tehran,’ the senator tweeted in May last year. 

‘Now, Iran releases a fake video of the IRGC blowing up our Capitol. 

‘The Biden admin’s priority should be ensuring Iran cannot carry out such an attack, not capitulating by removing sanctions.’ 

After the video aired, Iran’s supreme leader on Sunday criticized the country’s foreign minister, who said in a leaked interview that the elite Revolutionary Guards had more influence in foreign affairs and Tehran’s nuclear dossier than him.

In the interview, aired by the London-based Iran International Persian-language satellite news channel last week, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said he had ‘zero’ influence over Iran’s foreign policy.

In that same leaked audio, Zarif revealed that he was told by former Secretary of State John Kerry that Israel conducted strikes against Iranian targets in Syria.

That revelation prompted Republicans to demand that Kerry resign as Biden’s climate envoy. Kerry denied revealing any sensitive information about Israeli military operations. 

The late Revolutionary Guards commander Qassim Soleimani (centre in 2016) was killed in a drone strike

The late Revolutionary Guards commander Qassim Soleimani (centre in 2016) was killed in a drone strike

Leader of the Guards’ clandestine overseas Quds Force, Soleimani was a pivotal figure who built up Iran’s network of proxy armies across the Middle East before he was killed by the U.S. in a drone strike in 2020 – an attack which at the time brought the U.S. and Iran to the brink of war.

Iran retaliated with a rocket attack on an Iraqi air base where U.S. forces were stationed. Hours later, Iranian forces shot down a Ukrainian passenger airliner taking off from Tehran. Days later, Iran’s Guards admitted that the plane had been shot ‘mistakenly’.

Last year, Iran has asked Interpol to issue a ‘red notice’ for the arrest of President Trump and 47 other U.S. officials, citing the targeted killing a year ago of Qassem Soleimani, a powerful Iranian general. 

Interpol responded that it does not consider requests for a red notice that are motivated by political or military concerns. 

It’s the second time Iran has asked for help in detaining the US president. The first US President that Iran has asked to be arrested was Ronald Reagan. 

This is a provocative move amid ongoing international talks in Geneva about the Iranian nuclear programme.  

Who was Qasem Soleimani, Iranian general killed by US airstrike? 

Revolutionary Guards commander Qasem Soleimani, who was killed Friday in a US strike, was one of the most popular figures in Iran and seen as a deadly adversary by America and its allies.

General Soleimani, who headed the external operations Quds Force for the Guards, had wielded his regional clout publicly since 2018 when it was revealed that he had direct involvement in top-level talks over the formation of Iraq’s government.

It was no surprise at the time for a man who has been at the centre of power-broking in the region for two decades.

Soleimani has been in and out of Baghdad ever since, most recently last month as parties sought to form a new government.

Where once he kept to the shadows, Soleimani has in recent years become an unlikely celebrity in Iran — replete with a huge following on Instagram.

Revolutionary Guard General Qassem Soleimani (center) 'was personally the most popular regime figure in Iran' said one expert on Middle East affairs

Revolutionary Guard General Qassem Soleimani (center) ‘was personally the most popular regime figure in Iran’ said one expert on Middle East affairs

His profile rose suddenly when he was pushed forward as the public face of Iran’s intervention in the Syrian conflict from 2013, appearing in battlefield photos, documentaries — and even being featured in a music video and animated film.

In a rare interview aired on Iranian state television in October, he said he was in Lebanon during the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah war to oversee the conflict.

To his fans and enemies alike, Soleimani was the key architect of Iran’s regional influence, leading the fight against jihadist forces and extending Iran’s diplomatic heft in Iraq, Syria and beyond.

‘To Middle Eastern Shiites, he is James Bond, Erwin Rommel and Lady Gaga rolled into one,’ wrote former CIA analyst Kenneth Pollack in a profile for Time’s 100 most influential people in 2017.

‘To the West, he is… responsible for exporting Iran’s Islamic revolution, supporting terrorists, subverting pro-Western governments and waging Iran’s foreign wars,’ Pollack added.

With Iran roiled by protests and economic problems at home, and the US once again mounting pressure from the outside, some Iranians had even called for Soleimani to enter domestic politics.

While he has dismissed rumours he might one day run for president, the general has played a decisive role in the politics of Iran’s neighbour, Iraq.

As well as talks on forming a government, he was pivotal in pressuring Iraq’s Kurds to abandon their plans for independence after an ill-judged referendum last September.

Soleimani was key military decision-maker in Iran

His influence has deep roots, since Soleimani was already leading the Quds Force when the US invaded Afghanistan in 2001.

‘My Iranian interlocutors on Afghanistan made clear that while they kept the foreign ministry informed, ultimately it was General Soleimani that would make the decisions,’ former US ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker told the BBC in 2013.

His firm but quiet presence play perfectly to the Iranian penchant for dignified humility.

‘He sits over there on the other side of room, by himself, in a very quiet way. Doesn’t speak, doesn’t comment, just sits and listens. And so of course everyone is thinking only about him,’ a senior Iraqi official told the New Yorker for a long profile of Soleimani.

A survey published in 2018 by IranPoll and the University of Maryland — one of the few considered reliable by analysts — found Soleimani had a popularity rating of 83 percent, beating President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

Western leaders saw him as central to Iran’s ties with militia groups including Lebanon’s Hezbollah and Palestinian Hamas.

Part of his appeal was the suggestion he might bridge Iran’s bitter social divides on issues such as its strict ‘hijab’ clothing rules.

‘If we constantly use terms such as ‘bad hijab’ and ‘good hijab’, reformist or conservative… then who is left?’ Soleimani said in a speech to mark World Mosque Day in 2017.

‘They are all people. Are all your children religious? Is everybody the same? No, but the father attracts all of them.’

-AFP

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