Ali Khamenei took part in a religious ceremony a day after The New York Times claimed he was "gravely ill" and on bed rest.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has received a group of visitors during a religious ceremony, his first public appearance for more than two weeks, amid reports of his failing health.
Khamenei, 83, took part in a ceremony on Saturday to commemorate Arbaeen, which marks the end of a 40-day mourning period beginning with Ashura, the day Prophet Muhammad’s grandson was killed in 680 AD.
Khamenei had not appeared in public since he met followers in Tehran on September 3, sparking rumours on social media that he was ill.
Speculations about his deteriorating health were fuelled by a report in The New York Times on Friday citing unnamed sources in Khamenei's office that he was "gravely ill" after undergoing surgery for bowel obstruction.
The report further stated that Khamenei was too weak to even sit or walk and had cancelled all his meetings and public appearances, and claimed he was on bed rest under observation by doctors.
There was no reaction to the report from Khamenei’s office or government spokespersons.
Reports about the supreme leader’s deteriorating health have surfaced many times in recent years, without his office confirming or denying them.
Khamenei has served as Iran's Supreme Leader since 1989, after succeeding Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the architect of Iran's revolution in 1979.