Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
Ayatollah Ali KhameneiReuters

Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, canceled all his meetings and public appearances last week after falling gravely ill and is currently on bed rest under observation by a team of doctors, The New York Times reported on Friday, citing four people familiar with his health situation.

Khamenei, 83, had surgery some time last week for bowel obstruction after suffering extreme stomach pains and high fever, one of the sources said. The four people, two of whom are based in Iran, including one who has close ties with the country’s Revolutionary Guards, requested anonymity for discussing a sensitive issue like Khamenei’s health.

The Iranian Supreme Leader underwent the surgery at a clinic set up at his home and office complex and is currently being monitored around the clock by a team of doctors, the person familiar with the operation said. The ayatollah’s condition was considered critical last week, but has improved, and he is currently resting, the person said. His doctors are monitoring him around the clock and remain concerned that he is still too weak to even sit up in bed, the source said.

Khamenei traveled to the religious city of Mashhad about two weeks ago to perform a ritual known as dust cleaning at the Imam Reza shrine in Mashhad, according to The New York Times. Khamenei told the people traveling with him that he felt it might be his last time at the shrine, given his age, according to one of the four people, who was familiar with the details of his trip. He got sick soon after arriving back in Tehran, and his situation deteriorated over the past week, the person said.

His office canceled all meetings last week, and also an important annual meeting with the Assembly of Experts — the body that will decide his replacement once he dies — on Sept. 6 because he was too ill to sit up, according to four people familiar with his health condition.

Iran’s United Nations mission in New York said it could not immediately comment without getting approval from Tehran.

There have been conflicting reports about the Iranian Supreme Leader’s health in recent years.

In December of 2020, rumors surfaced that Khamenei had transferred his powers to his son due to failing health.

A senior Iranian official later denied those rumors and said that Khamenei is in good health. Khamenei made a public appearance several weeks after those reports.

(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)