Feb 9, 2024 - World

Meta removes Facebook, Instagram accounts of Iran’s Khamenei


Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Feb. 5. Photo: Iranian Leader Press Office / Handout/Anadolu via Getty Images

Meta has removed the Facebook and Instagram accounts of Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei from its platforms, the company confirmed Friday.

Why it matters: The move comes after months of criticism of Khamenei's support for Hamas in the wake of the group's Oct. 7 attack on Israel, AP reported.

State of play: "We have removed these accounts for repeatedly violating our Dangerous Organizations & Individuals policy," a Meta spokesperson told Axios in an emailed statement.

  • The company did not specify how exactly the accounts associated with Khamenei violated the policy, which bars individuals or organizations "that proclaim a violent mission or are engaged in violence" from its platforms.
  • This includes entities that glorify, support or represent terrorist organizations that have been designated by the U.S. government.

Of note: Instagram and Facebook are both blocked in Iran, the Meta spokesperson noted.

  • Iran's mission to the United Nations, which represents the government at the UN, did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.

The big picture: The U.S. designated Hamas as a terrorist organization in 1997.

Go deeper: U.S. sanctions Iran's morality police over death of woman in custody

Go deeper