Iran’s supreme leader vilifies U.S. police on Twitter, says #BlackLivesMatter

by Raheem Karim

Abu Dhabi (CNN) — In a series of blunt tweets over the holiday weekend, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei entered America’s debate on race and police violence — comparing unrest in states like New York and Missouri to conflicts in the Middle East.

On Sunday he tweeted: “#Jesus endured sufferings to oppose tyrants who had put humans in hell in this world& the hereafter while he backed the oppressed. #Ferguson”

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the country’s chief political and religious authority, acknowledged the role of Jesus in Islamic theology and compared the biblical prophet’s struggle to that of black people in the United States.

The tweet included #BlackLivesMatter, a hashtag popularized in recent weeks by supporters of Eric Garner, a 43-year old African-American man that died after being put in a chokehold by a NYPD officer.

It read: “It’s expected that followers of #Jesus follow him in his fight against arrogants and in his support for the oppressed. #BlackLivesMatter”

On Christmas Eve, the Ayatollah lumped the struggle of Palestinians in the Gaza strip with protests in Ferguson, Missouri, where black teenager Michael Brown was shot dead by police, and called on members of all three monotheistic faiths to stand-up against oppression.

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The unverified Twitter account, widely accepted as the mouthpiece of the Ayatollah’s social media campaign, often posts diatribes against the West and Israel to its more than 91,000 followers.

In August of this year, the leader published a poignant image that criticized President Barack Obama’s support for Israel during the country’s military operation to debilitate Hamas, a group many Western nations including the U.S. designate as a terrorist organization.

“US govt has subjugated a great nation w/ massive resources to a criminal regime like #Israel.10/31/12 #Ferguson #Gaza,” it said.

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