Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is famously skilled at hiding the secrets of his personal life behind the walls of the building known as the “House of the Supreme Leader” in the middle of Tehran. So adept is he at maintaining this wall of secrecy that when a rare photograph surface on the internet this week showing one of his sons peering at him from behind a curtain, most Iranians had no idea which one he was: —Mostafa, Mojtaba, Massoud (Mohsen), or Meysam?
The vast majority of the online users who have shared Tabnak website’s picture believe that the young man in the photo is none other than Mojtaba Khamenei, who in recent years has been accused by the Islamic Republic’s opponents of having a role in the crackdown on the protesters following the disputed 2009 presidential election. Another group believes that the man is Meysam Khamenei, the one who married the daughter of Mahmoud Lolachiyan, a conservative Tehran bazaar businessman. Yet in the eyes of another group, the picture seems to be of Massoud Khamenei, the son who married the daughter of Mohsen Kharazi, Tehran’s representative in the Assembly of Experts. A reliable source in Tehran told me: “It is Mojtaba! They would never allow anyone else behind that curtain!” Yet another source outside Iran insisted: “It’s Masoud, it’s Masoud!”
It all goes to show that a lot of secrecy goes a long way.