0658 GMT July 22, 2019
"When you tear out a man's tongue, you aren't proving him a liar, you're only telling the world that you FEAR what he might say," he said in a post on his Twitter account.
Instagram, a media-sharing social networking service owned by Facebook, has removed the accounts said to be of IRGC Commander Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri, and Commander of the IRGC Quds Force Major General Qassem Soleimani.
However, many Iranian officials have announced that they do not have any official account at Instagram or any other social networking services, and the pages attributed to them have been created by their fans, Tasnim News Agency reported.
The other ranking commanders whose Instagram accounts have been closed include IRGC Ground Force Commander Brigadier General Mohamamd Pakpour, senior official of General Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces General Mousa Kamali and Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, former mayor of Tehran.
Contacted by AFP, an Instagram spokesperson said it was operating "under the constraints of US sanctions laws".
On Monday, a notice published in the US Federal Register officially put the IRGC on the list of foreign terrorist organizations.
On April 8, US President Donald Trump blacklisted the IRGC, marking the first time the US has formally labelled another country's military a terrorist group.
Responding to the move, Iran’s Supreme National Security Council immediately declared the US as a state sponsor of terrorism and US forces in the region terrorists.