Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei (left) and his personal doctor Alireza Marandi

Speculation Mounts On Iran Leader's Health

Tuesday, 04/09/2024

Statements from the head of Iran's Supreme Leader's medical team celebrating his good health have sparked speculation as to the true state of the aging dictator’s health.

Alireza Marandi highlighted Ali Khamenei's active schedule in spite of his being 84, attributing it to “divine grace”.

Marandi said, "God has been very gracious to the Islamic Republic and all of us, keeping him healthy and well."

The decision to air such statements on a TV talk show has raised questions about the motive behind the sudden public discourse.

Speculation about Khamenei's health has been ongoing, sparking questions about potential successors. While discussions about succession remain taboo in Iranian political discourse, several names have been floated, with Khamenei's son, Mojtaba, emerging as a prominent figure believed to be groomed for the role.

However, experts caution that such an appointment could trigger instability within the regime, given competing power dynamics.

Reports of Khamenei's health issues have surfaced in the past. In 2022, the New York Times reported on his emergency surgery for bowel obstruction amid rumors of his deteriorating health.

Khamenei's subsequent public appearances were seen as attempts to dispel rumors of his death and reaffirm his leadership.

Khamenei has been Iran's supreme leader since 1989 and has been battling ill health for almost a decade. In 2014, he underwent a successful prostate cancer operation which also triggered fears for what would come next.

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