Iran’s supreme leader appears at the event amid reports of deteriorating health

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei was seen attending an event at a mosque in Tehran on Saturday, according to photos and a video clip posted on Iranian government websites and state media, a day after circulating reports of his deteriorating health.

One of the pictures showed Ayatollah Khamenei wearing a mask and greeting the crowd who attended the ceremony, which falls on the fortieth day after the martyrdom of Imam Hussein.

Other photos showed that he was sitting on a chair on the right side of the room, holding the prayer beads and looking at the imam delivering the sermon.

In a 12-minute video, the ayatollah is seen listening and interacting during the event, as Shiite worshipers gather to mark the end of the 40-day period of mourning to commemorate the 17th century anniversary of the death of Imam Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad. . A video clip broadcast by state media showed Khamenei addressing the crowd at the event.

The New York Times said on Friday that Khamenei canceled all public appearances last week after he fell “seriously ill” and was under the watch of a team of doctors.

Citing four unidentified people familiar with his health status, the paper reported that Khamenei is resting in bed after undergoing surgery sometime last week due to intestinal obstruction.

Pictures published in several Iranian media outlets indicate that the 83-year-old Ayatollah was physically able to appear in public at the event.

Ayatollah Khamenei has been the leader of Iran for the past three decades and is one of the longest serving rulers in the Middle East. It remains unclear who might succeed the leader, but in the event of his death it is expected that the Assembly of Experts will meet to discuss his successor.

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