Posted by : BC Bass Tuesday, December 18, 2012

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Iran banned the use of social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter around 2009, due to their use by activists to foster support for government opposition and to spread news of the protests that took place during the contentious re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. On Monday, however, Facebook boasted its newest -- and most unlikely -- member: Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The infamous cleric's "Khamenei.ir" page includes photos, excerpts from speeches and other anti-Semitic and anti-Western pronouncements. The content is largely directed at denigrating the United States, its allies and Jewish nations, which experts had anticipated. But security agencies throughout North America and Europe found more to worry about with Khamenei liking the Great Satan's leading social network. "If a 73-year-old religious zealot who shuns progress can develop a solid grasp of the Internet and applications like Instagram, we're relatively sure Iran can manufacture a pretty devastating nuclear weapon," said a representative from the State Department. "My 60-year-old mother can't even understand a smartphone. 'Phones are for calling people, not taking pictures and playing video games,' she says. It's frightening that an Islamic cleric gets technology more than a Boston homemaker."

Several other Facebook pages devoted to Khamenei exist, but they have been created and maintained by admirers. This recent profile is the only account authorized by the government of Iran. So what does the ruler of the Islamic Republic share with Facebook friends?

"Quite a lot, actually," said Otto Gressling, an analyst at a U.S.-based demographic research organization.

"One of his first posts, not surprisingly, was a dig at last week's Chanukah celebrations," Gressling noted. "It turns out the Ayatollah has a pronounced though decidedly dark sense of humor. So, he photoshopped a picture of a menorah with sticks of dynamite instead of candles. There was also this big green hand lighting one of the explosives in the lampstand, with the caption: 'Hulk Sha-Mash! LOL.'"

Another image showed the Trix cereal rabbit, in a yarmulke, being chased away by armed children wearing Hamas insignias. Of this post Khamenei quipped: "Silly rabbi. ROTFL."

Khamenei also commented on the gay marriage debate in the United States, emphasizing that it would never be a concern in Iran because homosexuality is only a "decadent Western phenomenon. :("

His most recent update included news footage of the various mass shootings in America, with the observation: "LMAO. This is why we no longer chant 'Death to America.' It does just fine on its own.'" The statement was followed by an uploaded photo of Bill Gates and the original "Microsoft Family" from the 1970s. Khamenei wrote: "Poor Christian Americans -- these are the only virgins waiting for their martyrs in the afterlife. LMFAO. XOXO ;)~"

In addition to his new Facebook profile, Khamenei has created two Tumblr accounts.

"Persian Cats" offers fans pictures of kittens inserted into news photos of disasters from Western countries, all with the heading "Sufferin' Succotash!" The second blog, more mysteriously, depicts photos of actor Jonathan Goldsmith -- who portrays the "Most Interesting Man in the World" in commercials for Dos Equis beer -- out of character and in mundane, uneventful situations. Khamenei wrote in the site's description: "He truly is the most interesting man in the world -- a Jew so self-hating he pretends to be a Mexican!"

Despite Khamenei's joyous response to American tragedies, his frequent derision of the U.S. government, his disgust with homosexual issues and women's rights, and his wildly offensive attacks on Jews, his Facebook page has garnered more "Likes" from Tea Party supporters in the United States than Iranians, many of whom adore the West and oppose the Islamic regime's extreme and fundamentalist ideologies.

(c) 2012. See disclaimers.

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