The Cable

@Khamenei.ir Blasts the United States for #Ferguson

As St. Louis declares a state of emergency, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called out the United States, again, for hypocrisy when it comes to American racial relations.

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The supreme leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, rarely ignores an opportunity to chide the United States for sins real and imagined. On Monday, the first anniversary of last year’s deadly police shooting in Ferguson, Khamenei — or whoever runs his Twitter account — was at it again.     

When Michael Brown was shot dead by then-Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson last summer, Khamenei launched into a Twitter rant about American race relations.   

Khamenei has used his Twitter account — which has 146,000 followers — to jab at the United States on other issues, and he has been active in recent days. He marked the 70th anniversary of the United States dropping atomic bombs on Japan during World War II to call out the country’s human rights record, while comparing it to Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.

The Obama administration, for its part, hasn’t let the landmark nuclear accord with Iran keep it from routinely blasting Tehran for other aspects of its behavior. On Monday afternoon, right around the time that Khamenei was tweeting insults at the United States, State Department spokesman John Kirby used a far more traditional forum — his daily press conference in Foggy Bottom — to call out Iran for sponsoring terrorism.

“I would just say broadly speaking, nobody in the United States government is turning a blind eye to Iran’s destabilizing activities in the region: their support for terror, for the Houthis, for Hezbollah, for the Assad regime,” Kirby said.

Photo credit: Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images

David Francis was a senior reporter for Foreign Policy, where he covered international finance. @davidcfrancis

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