Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
Ayatollah Ali KhameneiReuters

Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, made a public appearance on Saturday amid reports that he is in serious condition after falling ill and undergoing surgery.

Iranian media reported that the 83-year-old Khamenei participated in a series of religious meetings with students in Tehran.

On Friday, The New York Times reported that Khamenei had 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.

Khamenei had surgery some time last week for bowel obstruction after suffering extreme stomach pains and high fever, sources said.

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.

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.