US & Canada

US-Iran tensions: How social media reacted

Drone picture: Never forget 6/20/19 Image copyright @JordanUHL/Twitter
Image caption Some social media users have made jokes about the downed US drone

While tensions between the United States and Iran continue following the shooting down of a US drone, social media users have been responding with their own interpretations of the developments.

Earlier this week, Iranian broadcast media unsurprisingly gave heavy coverage to the downing of the drone by the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC).

President Donald Trump said the US military was ready to retaliate against Iran, but in a tweet explained why he had changed his mind at the last minute.

While some Iranians expressed relief, and encouraged the two sides to talk, others taunted the US, claiming President Trump had backtracked on launching air strikes because he "feared the might of Iran".

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Twitter that Iran did not seek war but would "zealously defend our land, skies and waters".

The shooting down of the drone followed accusations by the US that Iran had attacked two oil tankers with mines last Thursday just outside the Strait of Hormuz, in the Gulf of Oman.

Many social media users voiced concern about the prospect of conflict. "We as Iranian people are ready to defend our territory" read one tweet.

Some anti-establishment users took the opportunity to pour scorn on the current Iranian regime led by moderate President Hassan Rouhani.

"I am an Iranian and we will get rid of this [sic] stupid and ideological leaders. I promise you. It will be soon. God bless America," commented one Twitter user.

Another post from an Iranian social media user supporting the US president read: "We do not want this satanic regime ok? There is not any way but war to destroy them."

In a separate tweet, one commentator posted that despite opposing the ruling establishment in Iran, he considered the shooting down of the US drone as an "absolutely right, necessary and to-the-point move".

However, others questioned Iran and the IRGC's actions. One user referred to several airlines deciding not to fly over Iran as the result of the sense of an impending war.

Other users took a more light-hearted approach to the standoff.

Some people in both the US and Iran even made jokes about the possibility of military action.

Image copyright Reddit
Image copyright @brillbro/Twitter

In Iran, access to social media is restricted but some Twitter users were still able to share their thoughts.

Under the Persian hashtag #گلوبال_هاوک [#GlobalHawk] users mocked the US special representative for Iran, Brian Hook, who said earlier this month that Iran "has photoshopped images of missile launches to try and show its increased missile capabilities".

One user joked that Iran's "powerful Photoshop" took down the drone.

Another user asked US President Donald Trump to send a "pink" drone next time so he could give it to "my little one."