Tags: Iran | supreme | leader | caviar

Iran's Ayatollah Reportedly Fond of Caviar, Vulgarity


A defector from the private guard of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's Supreme Leader, has given the first comprehensive account of the private life of the secretive figure who has led the country for 20 years.

A catalogue of the private opulence and eccentric tastes of 70-year-old Ayatollah Khamenei and his family has been compiled by Iran's opposition Green Movement from the accounts of the defector, who is said to be in hiding in France.

Among his claims are that Ayatollah Khamenei has a voracious appetite for trout and caviar; is an avid hoarder of collectables from bejewelled pipes to fine horses; and that he suffers regular bouts of depression which are treated in part by audiences with a mid-ranking mullah who tells vulgar jokes.

Claims from three intelligence officials, who have also fled Iran, have additionally documented the Khamenei family's wide-reaching business connections, including interests in European manufacturers, African mobile phone companies and international commodities markets.

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