Supreme Leader Khamenei Blames Western Culture and Gaza ‘Genocide’ for Death of Aaron Bushnell

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei weighed in on the recent self-immolation of US Serviceman Aaaron Bushnell, who set himself on fire outside the Israeli Embassy in Washington DC on Sunday. Bushnell, a US Air Force veteran, poured gasoline on himself before lighting himself on fire in protest of what he called a “genocide” against Palestinians in Gaza, shouting “Free Palestine” as he burned.

Ayatollah Khamenei showed his support for Bushnell’s actions through his Twitter account, criticizing the West’s policies towards the Gaza conflict. He stated, “The West’s disgraceful antihuman policies with regard to the genocide in Gaza have reached such a point that a US military officer sets himself on fire. #AaronBushnell” He later added, “The genocide in Gaza is even too much for that young person who was brought up in the Western culture. His conscience was hurting, and he set himself on fire. #AaronBushnell”

Khamenei’s campaign against the West

Ayatollah Khamenei has been harshly critical of Western culture due to its support for Israel in the conflict with Hamas. Iran, a supporter of Hamas and Hezbollah, has used Bushnell’s death as a propaganda tool against the West, honoring the serviceman on Iranian state media. Press TV highlighted Bushnell’s protest and his death, using hashtags with his name to further their message against Israel’s actions in Gaza.

Seth Frantzman contributed to this report.