Unraveling the Latest Reports from Iran: Is Khamenei Dead?
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 Indian - Khamenei: Dead or Alive?
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