Obama aide deletes tweet that spurred newest rumors of Iranian leader’s death
Yesterday, Colin Kahl, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Middle East for the Obama administration, tweeted that Iran’s IAEA ambassador said Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had died. He said this report was “unconfirmed” and asked other Tweeple for any information on it.
It would be truly tragic for the Supreme Leader of Iran to perish only days after creating an Instagram account. Luckily, the rumor has been more or less dropped on Twitter after people started pointing out that he also died in 2009 and earlier this year. Maybe a little embarrassed, Kahl deleted his tweet, but it’s been widely retweeted.
Though Kahl may be the most prominent person to have bought into it, it seems like this latest Khamenei death rumor was originally started by Italian journalist Tommasso de Benedetti, who has spread hoaxes on the microblogging site before. This may be where it all started yesterday:
Nothing like a good, old-fashioned political social media derp-a-thon. The awesomely awkwardly named Politwoops, an project by the Sunlight Foundation, exists just to document this kind of fodder.