Ayatollah Khamenei meets with environmental activists.
(photo credit: AYATOLLAH KHAMENEI TWITTER)
Amid reports that Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei has been hospitalized in critical condition, Tehran has issued what it claims is evidence of his involvement in a public meeting with environmentalists to address Iran's natural resources
On Tuesday, reports emerged claiming that the Islamic Republic's top cleric was taken into intense medical care, allegations which FARS news, an Iranian state news agency, dubbed as "Israeli driven rumors," even suggesting that the Jewish state has embarked on similar misinformation campaigns in the past.
"In numerous occasions, they [Israel, Western Intelligence] have said he is ill and they've taken him to hospital, and it wasn't true. And the only time he went to hospital, they didn't know about it," said Mohammad Marandi, the Ayatollah's chief surgeon. "So it's obvious that they do not have any inside information. Probably a part of the campaign against Iran to create uncertainty," he said.
Khamenei, who suffers from stage four prostate cancer was initially hospitalized and operated upon on September 8, 2014. Western intelligence officials speaking to Le Figaro
last week suggested that Khamenei 's cancer had spread to terminal levels, with some medical experts speculating that he has only two years to live.
Iran, however, has been adamant as to the top cleric's health, dispelling any notions that his condition has worsened and denying that a conversation about his successor has ensued.
"The operation that he had a few months ago was a very routine operation. He carries about his work very normally. His business is as usual, work as usual."
Iran is often accused of obfuscating the condition of its Supreme Leader in an effort to shore up the image of stability and power that it wants to spread throughout the Middle East and the world, a tactic which may include its most recent claim that the Ayatollah attended a meeting addressing Iran's natural resources, but which also included more outlandish claims, such as the 75 year old Ayatollah's "regular" predilection for mountain climbing.