LONDON: The eldest son of Iran's President-elect Hassan Rowhani committed suicide in 1992 in protest at his father's close ties with Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, it has been revealed.
Though officials at the time denied any link to politics, this personal tragedy is a dark secret in Rowhani's life and is likely to mar the jubilation at his election.
"I hate your government, your lies, your corruption, your religion, your double acts and your hypocrisy," wrote the son, Hussein, in his suicide note, published in London by exiled Iranian political commentator Ali Reza Nouri.
Hussein, who was 23 years old at the time of the suicide, was reportedly disappointed that his father was an influential member of then-President Hashemi Rafsanjani's government, which was blamed for the mass execution of opposition members after the Iran-Iraq war.
Many of Hussein's colleagues were also executed.
"I am ashamed to live in such an environment here. I'm forced to lie to my friends each day, telling them that my father isn't part of all of this. Telling them my father loves this nation, whereas I believe this to be not true. It makes me sick seeing you, my father, kiss the hand of Khamenei," according to the London-based Al Sharq Al Awsat newspaper.
Interestingly, Hussein ended his life with his father's revolver while Rowhani was on a trip to Somalia.