In his sanctions announcement, Trump accidentally named the wrong supreme leader of Iran, who has been dead since 1989

news

President Donald Trump

(Reuters/Carlos Barria)

President Donald Trump on Monday mistakenly named a supreme leader of Iran who has been dead since 1989 as the target of new U.S. sanctions.


By mispronouncing one syllable in a press conference in the Oval Office, Trump said he was sanctioning "Ayatollah Khomeini" of Iran.

He meant to name Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the current supreme leader, as confirmed by a White House transcript and an announcement by the U.S. Treasury.

Khomeini ruled Iran as supreme leader from the Islamic Revolution in 1979 until his death in 1989.

In a video, Trump said (emphasis ours):

"Sanctions imposed through the executive order that I'm about to sign will deny the supreme leader and the supreme leader's office, and those closely affiliated with him and the office, access to key financial resources and support. The assets of Ayatollah Khomeini and his office will not be spared from the sanctions."

The one-syllable difference is somewhat less apparent when comparing the men's full names: Sayyid Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini was the first ayatollah, and Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei is the second.

On Twitter, critics were quick to question the discrepancy.

The sanctions imposed Monday came amid escalating tensions between Iran and the US, with Trump ordering and then calling off airstrikes last week against Iran after it downed a US drone.

Targeting Iran's head of state clearly touched a nerve.

In a Tuesday speech broadcast live on Iranian TV, Hassan Rouhani, the president of Iran, said the Trump White House had "mental retardation."

Read more from Business Insider:

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider

If you're in the market for a bunker in the southwest, you're in luck. A decommissioned missile complex is now on sale outside of Tucson for nearly $400,000. The complex was home to an armed Titan II missile for 24 years, before it was decommissioned in the 1980s.

The structure is listed with Grant Hampton at Realty Executives. Now, the home is back on the market, and these photos show what lies underground in Arizona.

Read More Show Less

Connecting with the youths is all fun and games until Congress starts worrying you could accidentally expose the U.S. military to Chinese data collection, am I right?

Read More Show Less

A Florida Navy Reserve officer rescued a woman who was trapped in a sinking car, according to a report by CBS 47.

Read More Show Less

The Marine Corps will investigate whether another Marine has ties to a white supremacist group after he allegedly made racist comments on neo Nazi message boards that have since been taken down, according to a Marine Corps official.

Vice News reporters Tess Owen and Tim Hume first reported on Nov. 8 that at least three people who posted on the new defunct Iron March message boards were service members, but their story did not include any of the troops' names.

Newsweek reporters James LaPorta and Asher Stockler were able to independently confirm the identity of one of those service members as an active-duty Marine: Lance Corporal Liam J. Collins, an 0311 Rifleman assigned to 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

Read More Show Less

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump said on Tuesday the United States knows the location of the third in command to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who killed himself last month during a U.S.-led raid.

"We have our eye on his third," Trump said during the question-and-answer session following a speech at the Economic Club of New York. "His third has got a lot of problems because we know where he is too."

Read More Show Less