Kathy Riordan

Kathy Riordan
Florida, United States
April 27
One woman's view of life and the universe. Follow @katriord on Twitter.


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Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 15, 2009 1:14PM

Unraveling the Latest Reports from Iran: Is Khamenei Dead?

Rate: 6 Flag


Iran's Supreme Leader Sayyid Ali Khamenei addresses a crowd in Iran in a recent photo from the Supreme Leader's official website.  Reports have been swirling around the media and the Internet in recent days that Khamenei is either gravely ill, or has died, but have not been substantiated. 



Reports have surfaced in recent days of the unsubstantiated claim that the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has died, or is in a coma.

Sorting out the truth of such claims is complicated in the climate Iran finds itself in since the election in June, having cast out most foreign journalists and heavily controlling its own press.  While reports of the declining health of Khamenei are not unusual, the recent rumors rise to the level that raise suspicion that needs to be answered by official sources.

Most claims of the Supreme Leaders death started showing up on various blog entries on the Internet, and messages coming out of the country that he had either collapsed and was in a coma, or had died.  

This morning, scattered reports are claiming that Iranian sources are pushing back against the rumors.  Thus far, Press TV, the official Iranian state television, is not reporting anything on the claims.  The only statement has come from the Iranian embassy in Belarus, an unusual location for such an announcement.


On the Web: 

The Guardian -  Ayatollah Khamenei dead? How rumours start

Jerusalem Post - Rumors:  Ayatollah Khamenei in Coma

The Telegraph -  Internet rumour:  Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, 'is dead'

The Indian -  Khamenei: Dead or Alive? 

FOX News -  Iran Blasts Back at Rumors of Supreme Leader's Death, News Site Reports

Spero News - Iran Sources Dismiss Buzz Over Khamenei Health 

RIA Novosti -  Ayatollah Khamenei Alive Says Iranian Embassy in Belarus 

The New York Times - Ali Khamenei News 

The Office of the Supreme Leader, Sayyid Ali Khamenei 


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Even if he is dead, they'll find a replacement just like him.

Thanks for the news, Kathy. R
How could they tell?
Khamenei might yet get to have his Mark Twain moment, john. We shall see.
When all roads lead to Michael Ledeen, one must be very, very skeptical.
helpful update, Kathy - thanks
lefty, I agree as a source that's very suspicious, which is why the careful news reports are simply reporting that it's an unsubstantiated rumor, with that as a source.
Thanks, Kathy. Sounds like this could go on for weeks. Reminds me of the whole mystery that surrounded Fidel Castro.

Good point, DJohn. Could be.
I can't speak for all Americans. I suspect you can't, either. And neither of us can speak for the editors. Xenophobia doesn't play any part in my writing, and I suspect it doesn't play any part in the choice of the editors for placement. I lived among Muslims for several months and have great respect for them.
Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead.
may be just wishful thinkin gone haywire
Could be, historicalhome. The buzz certainly quieted down over recent days, except for this article.
It's noteworthy that since I posted this article, the official website of the Supreme Leader has been shut down, a curious thing to do in the face of death rumors.