The emergence of Iran’s supreme leader comes after unconfirmed reports that the 83-year-old is “critically ill”.
Tehran, Iran – Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Hosseini Khamenei made his first public appearance on Saturday after reports of deteriorating health last week.
Khamenei, dressed in black and wearing a mask since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, attended a mourning event marking a Shia religious ceremony in Albain.
The annual ceremony attended by the supreme leader is held with representatives of the student body, but had been canceled for the past two years due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Images published on Ayatollah Khamenei’s website showed the supreme leader walking, waving to the crowd and sitting to observe mourning ceremonies.
His appearance came after multiple unconfirmed reports that the 83-year-old leader had become “severely ill.”
“Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.”
An image of Ayatollah Khamenei reportedly attending a mourning ceremony today. They are not/look like stock photos. https://t.co/0OTBnbZutx
— Henry Roma (@hrome2) September 17, 2022
The New York Times reported late Friday, citing four unnamed sources, that Khamenei’s health deteriorated last week and he began experiencing severe stomach pains, prompting him to undergo surgery for an intestinal obstruction. .
He also reported that he was too weak to sit and had canceled all public meetings.
The Iranian government and state media rarely commented on the details of Ayatollah Khamenei’s health and remained silent on reports.
The only news in local media has denied that Khamenei canceled a meeting with a conference of experts earlier this month, claiming he attended an event with athletes and sports veterans last week.
No images or footage of that reported meeting have been released, but several athletes testified to the rally on social media.
Reports of Ayatollah Khamenei’s health and false claims about his death have made headlines several times in recent years.
Ayatollah Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader since 1989, underwent successful prostate cancer surgery in 2014.