An official close to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has denied rumours on social media that the 81-year-old’s health is deteriorating.
“By the grace of God and with the good prayers of devotees, the gentleman (Ayatollah Khamenei) is in good health and is busy vigorously carrying out his plan according to his routine,” the official, Mehdi Fazaeli, said on Twitter on Monday.
Fazaeli has worked in an office publishing Khamenei’s work.
His tweet was also reported by Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency.
Denying rumors on social media and some media outlets, Mehdi Fazaeli, deputy in the office publishing remarks and news of #Iran’s leader says that the leader is in good health and is busy doing his work as usual. https://t.co/PpRTYICUQr
— Abas Aslani (@AbasAslani) December 7, 2020
The statement about Khamenei’s health appeared to be a response to reports by several news organisations, which referred to a tweet by a journalist in Arabic who said Khamenei had transferred duties to his son because of his health.
Khamenei has served as supreme leader since 1989, with the final say on all state matters.
His health has been the subject of speculation for years.
A security official in Israel, which closely follows events in its enemy Iran, told Reuters: “We are aware of these rumours, and regard them as rumours only.”