Despite reports from US media that Iran’s Supreme Leader canceled his schedule due to his bad health condition, he held two public appearances in one week.
It was on this Wednesday that Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei spoke for the second time in less than a week in a televised speech. This is while New York Times had reported last week that he had canceled appearances after falling ill and that he had been under observation by a team of doctors lately. However, the 83-year-old Supreme Leader of Iran appeared healthy and fresh in both of his public appearances.
Khamenei, who has been Iran’s supreme leader since 1989, underwent a successful prostate cancer operation in 2014. But reports concerning Khamenei’s health and false claims about his death have made headlines several times in recent years.
In one of the latest cases, the New York Times published a report late on Friday, citing four unnamed sources, that Khamenei’s health deteriorated last week when he began experiencing severe stomach pains, leading to him undergoing surgery for bowel obstruction.
“Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, canceled all meetings and public appearances last week after falling gravely ill and is currently on bed rest under observation by a team of doctors, according to four people familiar with his health situation.” The NWT report said.
The report also added that “Ayatollah Khamenei, 83, had surgery sometime last week for bowel obstruction after suffering extreme stomach pains and high fever, one of the people said. The four people, two of whom are based in Iran, including one who has close ties with the country’s Revolutionary Guards, requested anonymity for discussing a sensitive issue like Ayatollah Khamenei’s health. The ayatollah’s condition was considered critical last week but has improved, and he is currently resting, the person said. His doctors remain concerned that he is too weak to even sit up in bed.”
The New York Times report turned out to be false
However, the Tasnim news agency, affiliated with the Revolutionary Guards, posted a brief item on Friday saying that the ayatollah would attend a religious ceremony with university students on Saturday. Khamenei did speak to students in Tehran in person after two weeks of being out of sight.
To kill all the rumors regarding his health condition, Iran’s Supreme Leader, who normally speaks while sitting, addressed the crowd standing, speaking for more than one hour to young Iranian students and giving them moral and social advice.
Also during his second speech on Wednesday, Khamenei, dressed in his usual clerical robes, spoke for 55 minutes in the presence of the country’s military commanders, focusing mostly on the Iran-Iraq war and “the need to teach young Iranians about the conflict and for them not to fall for Western powers’ deception”.
Prior to his address, Khamenei sat for close to an hour on a podium listening to speeches by army commanders and religious songs, wearing a face covering. He got up unaided from his chair to deliver his remarks and spoke clearly.
Early on Sunday, Khamenei also met with Iran’s president Ebrahim Raisi, a day before the president left for the United States. Khamenei wished success for Raisi on his forthcoming visit to New York to attend the 77th United Nations General Assembly. Raisi also presented a report on the meetings and agreements he made during his recent visit to Uzbekistan for the 2022 Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit, over which Khamenei also expressed content.