Iran’s Supreme Leader shown at event amid reports of deteriorating health

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

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

One picture shown Ayatollah Khamenei wearing a mask and waving to the crowd attending the ceremony, which marked the 40th day after the martyrdom of Imam Hussein.

Other photos showed him sitting in a chair to the right of the room, holding a rosary and looking at the imam delivering the sermon.

In a 12-minute video, the Ayatollah was seen listening and interacting during the event, where Shia worshipers gather to mark the end of a 40-day mourning period that commemorates the death in the seventh century of Imam Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad. . Video on state media showed Khamenei addressing the crowd at the event.

The New York Times said Friday that Khamenei had canceled all public appearances last week after falling “seriously ill” and was under observation by a team of doctors.

Citing four unnamed people familiar with his condition, The Times reported that Khamenei was resting after undergoing surgery last week for an intestinal obstruction.

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

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