This is the story behind the visit of Mr. Khamenei to the Armenian Christian family on Christmas Day, 2015:
Embassy of the Islamic Republic in Paris, France
The Leader of the Revolution visited the family home of Christian martyrs
... In the course of the war [The Iran-Iraq War of the 1980], there were some 48 martyrs, 105 wounded and 35 war prisoners from among the small Armenian –Christian minority. There were also some 30 Armenian men, women and children who died during air-attacks and bombings. The same kind of sacrifices were witnessed among the yet smaller Assyrian-Christian minority; more than 30 of them were martyred defending their country in the unjust, unequal war imposed on the Iranian nation for they considered themselves as part of this oppressed nation and the war as a national question and they did whole - heartedly participated in the war effort. Apart from these efforts, the Armenians were also very active in the war’s relief work; they did set up a headquarters for this purpose from the early days of the war under the supervision of their religious authority.
During those days of hardship the Iranian Armenians proved how they felt about the imposed war on their fellow-countrymen: at the beginning of the Christian year 1982, they decided not to celebrate the New Year in respect for thousands of families whose sons had been martyred during the war as victims of Saddam Hussein’s crimes.
Ayatollah Khamenei was the first person who valued this significant action by the Armenians.
In his message concerning the Christian New Year he said:
• I congratulate this New Year, which commemorates the blessed birth of Messiah, Mary’s son, the grand prophet of God, to all Christians in our country and to the true followers of Jesus Christ and wish the best of happiness and salvation by asking the Word and Spirit of God to help them. The new year begins at a time when millions of people who thirst for justice, peace and love pray for the realization of Christ’s promises in the future ...in our country the blood of many of our people including the Christians were shed for defending our land …
Now the Iranian Christians have decided not to celebrate the new year in sympathy with families who have lost their loved ones during this war …I, in the name of the Iranian nation, express my appreciation for this kindness and insight and I hope that under our Islamic state and the rule of the Quran, the new year will be a year of happiness and progress for the Christian community, and I wish happiness and success for all Christians throughout the world.
Ayatollah Khamenei started his routine for visiting the families of the war martyrs since 1984 and in this very year, he also visited a few families of the Christian martyrs on the occasion of the Christian New Year...
Of course, this is the first I've heard of this. It must have been buried on page 30 of the Style Section of the NewYork Sunday Times.