Outgoing US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo this weekend apparently thought it time to engage in one last Twitter battle with Iranian officials. Over the past year both Pompeo and his Iranian counterpart Foreign Minister Javad Zarif have been very active on Twitter, sometimes hurling insults and competing claims at each other.
But on Saturday Pompeo directly engaged Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei just hours after major US networks in unison declared Joe Biden winner of the presidential election, which Trump is contesting. Khamenei declared the "decline of the US regime" in a tweet.
The situation in the US & what they themselves say about their elections is a spectacle! This is an example of the ugly face of liberal democracy in the US. Regardless of the outcome, one thing is absolutely clear, the definite political, civil, & moral decline of the US regime.— Khamenei.ir (@khamenei_ir) November 7, 2020
Perhaps Iran's continued public mockery and gloating in the Trump loss finally got under Pompeo's skin. Here's what Ayatollah Khamenei put out Saturday just as results were called by the media: "The situation in the US & what they themselves say about their elections is a spectacle!" he wrote.
"This is an example of the ugly face of liberal democracy in the US. Regardless of the outcome, one thing is absolutely clear, the definite political, civil, & moral decline of the US regime." And Pompeo was quick to lash out:
.@khamenei_ir - You’ve personally stolen hundreds of millions of dollars from your people. Your elections are a joke, with hundreds of candidates disqualified from even running. Today, your people starve because you spend billions on proxy wars to protect your kleptocracy. pic.twitter.com/4pCD6ilguC— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) November 7, 2020
An angry Pompeo - who has been seen as a key Trump administration architect behind the most far-reaching sanctions on Iran in history - called Iranian elections "a joke" and charged the Supreme Leader with personally stealing "hundreds of millions of dollars from your people" while they "starve because you spend billions on proxy wars to protect your kleptocracy".
Not only is Iran gloating at this point because a Biden presidency opens up the likelihood of the softening of sanctions, but tensions are still high after the White House ordered the assassination of IRGC Quds Force General Qassem Soleimani.
Pompeo followed his initial response to Khamenei with the following:
America is and shall remain the greatest nation in all of human history. We welcome the day when the Iranian people get their wish - and you know what that is. That is all.— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) November 7, 2020
Likely this will be the last big 'twitter battle' between the Trump White House and officials of the Islamic Republic.
It's also likely that Biden White House officials will be much less active in such belligerent Twitter 'engagements'.
It's expected that US-Iranian tensions will be greatly subdued under a Biden presidency, given he's indicated he'll restore America's participation in the 2015 Obama-brokered Iranian nuclear deal so long as Tehran returns to its agreed upon uranium enrichment caps.