United States (GVO) – Donald Trump’s presidential campaign has always advocated “getting tough on Iran,” but the rhetoric escalated ever so slightly last week, when retired Lieutenant General Michael T. Flynn, one of Trump’s chief military advisors and a former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, demanded that Ayatollah Khomeini—a man who’s been dead for more than a quarter of a century—condemn the attack on July 14 in Nice, France.
Michael Flynn, former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, calls on a man dead 27 years to condemn extremism pic.twitter.com/qhtxOYeHce
— Samuel Oakford (@samueloakford) July 15, 2016
Appearing on Fox News with Megyn Kelly, Flynn said angrily, “I want the Imam, or Khomeini, to stand up and be counted and to talk about this radical form of ideology in their bloodstream, in their DNA.”
Ayatollah Sayyid Ruhollah Khomeini died in 1989 after establishing the Islamic Republic of Iran, the first modern-day theocracy, following the Islamic Revolution in 1979.
Flynn either confused the name “Khomeini” with Iran’s current supreme leader, Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Hosseini Khamenei, or he is unaware that Ayatollah Khomeini died 27 years ago. Whether the mistake was confusion or ignorance, Flynn appeared on Fox News again the following day, on July 15, and said Khomeini again, insisting that the long-dead man denounce the attacks in Nice.
Internet users both in Iran and the US have shared a few thoughts about Flynn’s curious interest in “the Imam Khomeini.” Iranian Twitter user Ameneh Mousavi tweeted:
عقلاي قوم اين درسته؟؟؟
ژنرال مایکل فلین مشاور نظامی دونالد ترامپ از "آیت الله خمینی" رهبر ایران خواسته حمله تروریستی نیس فرانسه رو محکوم کند
— ameneh mousavi (@MousaviSa) July 16, 2016
Wise people, can this be right? General Michael Flynn, Donald Trump’s military advisor, wants “Ayatollah Khomeini,” the leader of Iran, to condemn the Nice terrorist attacks.
Iranian-American journalist Saman Arbabi wrote:
— Saman Arbabi (@SamanArbabi) July 15, 2016
American Internet users took an interest in the story, as well, after the Huffington Post wrote about it:
"Flynn’s offer to list Muslim leaders was undermined by the fact that his top example had been dead for 30 years" https://t.co/8thyQRxdbQ
— Christina Wilkie (@christinawilkie) July 15, 2016
— Maude Snuggs (@MillCunningham) July 15, 2016
A parody account satirizing the Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, also had some thoughts:
Wonder if he knows that Gorbachev isn't president of Russia.
Trump adviser wants Khomeini to denounce Nice attack https://t.co/hR30iNCypp
— Soviet Sergey (@SovietSergey) July 18, 2016
This report prepared by Mahsa Alimardani for Global Voices Online.