Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on show for Iran's nuclear talks

 

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The Independent Online

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s Supreme Leader, made a public appearance today amid rumours about his health which were dismissed by a relative as gossip meant to derail ongoing nuclear talks with world powers.

State television today showed the 75-year-old Mr Khamenei addressing a environmental activists at his house in central Tehran. He appeared comfortable and healthy in the footage.

In recent days foreign-based news websites have claimed that Mr Khamenei, who has the final word on all matters in Iran, had been taken to hospital in a critical condition.

Mr Khamenei has been Iran’s top leader since the death in 1989 of the Islamic Republic’s founder, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. In September, Mr Khamenei had surgery rumoured to be for prostate cancer and spent about a week in hospital before being released.

Iran is in the middle of critical negotiations with world powers over its contested nuclear programme. Mr Khamenei’s health is given significant attention because it may affect the progress of talks for a final nuclear accord.

 

He has backed Iran’s negotiators in the talks publicly, but has also set his own requirements for what he wants out of any deal.

AP

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