A public appearance was made by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in the capital Tehran on Saturday amid reports of his failing health.
Marking the 40th day after Ashura, the day Islam’s Prophet Muhammad’s grandson was killed in 680 AD, Khamenei took part in a ceremony to commemorate Arbaeen while wearing a mask and sporting a black dress.
The meeting was pre-scheduled with representatives of university students that his office had publicized a few days ago.
Like all other public engagements of Iran’s top leader, the annual meeting had been canceled past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Citing unnamed sources in Khamenei’s office that he was “gravely ill” after undergoing surgery for bowel obstruction, speculation about his deteriorating health was fueled by a report by The New York Times on Friday.
The report further stated that he was too weak to even sit or walk and had canceled all his meetings and public appearances.
No reaction was released to the report from Khamenei’s office or government spokespersons.