Natwar Singh talks of Ayatollah Khomeini in the present tense, suggesting that he is still the Supreme Leader (and with his inveterate habit of name dropping, how he met the 'great man' in New Delhi and Harare). Last I heard, Ayatollah (Ruhollah) Khomeini the leader of the famous Islamic Revolution of 1979 has been consorting with the houris for quite some time now. Presumably therefore (and in view of the persistent present tense) Mr Singh is talking of the present Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei whom he could well have met in Delhi and Harare as leader of the Iran delegation.
To compound the confusion the picture accompanying the article is that of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini (the original, so to speak), presumably placed there by the Hindu's sub-editors. When incompetence meets the bush-league, the results are obviously disastrous.
I only hope that our Government is better informed about Supreme Leaders than former members of our foreign service.
Update: The Hindu has provided a correction today (and sent me a letter yesterday pointng to this). But it has a mysterious statement which says "The third, 16th and 17th paragraphs also referred to the Ayatollah in the present tense, leaving many readers confused." Excuse me but the readers were not confused, it was their distinguished columnist who was. In fact it could well have been the present Supreme Leader Khamenei, see Rahul Siddharthan's update. Most confusing...why doesn't Natwar Singh just retire gracefully?