Iran has released a “never before seen” photo of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei alongside Hassan Nasrallah, leader of the Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah. The photo published on the supreme leader’s official website shows Nasrallah with Khamenei on his right and Qassem Soleimani—the commander of Iran’s elite Qods Force—on his left.
The three men are shown in front of what appears to be a door covered by a curtain and surrounded by shelves stacked with books—decor associated with Khamenei’s Tehran office.
The photo—first published on Wednesday and still available on Saturday—has received little coverage in other Iranian media.
The picture will make the inaugural cover of a new magazine—Massir (the Path) -- soon to be launched by khamenei.ir, the supreme leader’s website said, while noting that the issue will publish elements of a “five-hour interview” with Nasrallah.
The text references “a never before seen photo”, but does not confirm the date or place where it was taken.
Earlier, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had said that “there is not going to be any war” with the United States. Tensions between the Islamic republic and the United States was a test of resolve rather than a military encounter, he said. “This face-off is not military because there is not going to be any war. Neither we nor them (the US) seek war. They know it will not be in their interest,” he said, quoted on the Khamenei.ir website. Khamenei accused US President Donald Trump of being uninformed about the situation in Iran.
“The definite decision of the Iranian nation is to resist against America,” Khamenei said, adding that “in this showdown America will be forced to retreat... because our resolve is stronger.” The supreme leader said negotiating with the US was “poison” because the Americans wanted to take away Iran’s strong points such as its missiles or its “strategic depth” in the region.
“Negotiating with the present American government is doubly poisonous... they are not decent humans, they don’t stand by anything,” he said referring to the US decision to withdraw from the landmark 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and major world powers.