Fact Check

Did Ayatollah Khamenei Share a Picture of Himself Reading 'Fire and Fury'?

An image apparently showing Iran's Supreme Leader reading Michael Wolff’s controversial book about U.S. President Donald Trump is authentic.

Published May 11, 2018

Image courtesy of Instagram
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei shared a photo of himself reading Michael Wolff’s "Fire and Fury."

On 11 May 2018, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Supreme leader of Iran, posted a picture of himself reading a Persian translation of Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury — a famously damaging account of the first year of the Trump presidency:

Foreign leaders reading copies of the book have, in the past, been fabricated. This photograph, however, is apparently authentic. The pictures, according to both the Ayatollah's web site and the Tehran Times, come from the leader’s visit to the 31st International Book Fair of Tehran on 11 May 2018:

Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Abbas Salehi and a number of his colleagues accompanied the Leader during the visit, which lasted for an hour and a half.

He had brief chats with representatives of publishers, who also talked about their concerns for the business. They also briefed the Leader about their latest offerings.

The Instagram account is the official one used by Khamenei, and the image shared on Instagram also appears on the official government web site of the Ayatollah.


Khamenei.ir.   “Visit of the Revolutionary Leader of the 31st International Book Fair of Tehran."     11 May 2018.

Tehran Times.   “Leader Visits Tehran Intl. Book Fair.”     11 May 2018.

Alex Kasprak is an investigative journalist and science writer reporting on scientific misinformation, online fraud, and financial crime.