America’s Foe on Twitter English and Farsi Political Messages from Iranian Leaders

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Matthew L. Bergbower
Milovan Dakic


This article examines English and Farsi political messages on Twitter from two Iranian leaders, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. During the summer of 2019, Iran’s relations with Western democracies were further strained by Iranian attacks on foreign commercial ships in the Gulf of Oman and on a US surveillance drone. Shortly thereafter, President Trump announced on Twitter that he had ordered an air strike against Iranian targets, only to rescind the order minutes before contact. We explore Iran’s response to Trump and the international crisis that emerged during the spring and summer of 2019. Our article utilizes a content analysis to descriptively account for the politics and political messages that Zarif and Khamenei sought to promote. We also pay particular attention to the content criticizing America and its leadership during this time as we seek to understand Iran’s interest in provoking the United States on social media.

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