The spiritual leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, made a public speech today during a Shia Muslim religious ceremony. In the last two weeks, he made a public appearance for the first time, when news about his poor health condition is circulating in the foreign press.
Yesterday, two sources close to him denied that he is sick, answering the question of “Reuters” about the Ayatollah’s health.
Citing four people familiar with Khamenei’s health, the New York Times wrote yesterday that he had canceled all his meetings and speeches last week, was bedridden and under medical supervision after falling seriously ill.
In a video broadcast today on Iran’s state television, Ali Khamenei, wearing a medical mask and in a steady voice, speaks about the significance of one of the important religious holidays of Shia Muslims, when the end of the 40-day mourning for the grandson of the Prophet Mohammad, Hussein, is celebrated.
During Ashura, the end of the 40-day mourning for Hussein, who died in the 7th century, Shia Muslims wear black clothes, beat themselves, and sing religious songs as a sign of grief.