Iran’s supreme leader has undergone prostate surgery and is recovering at a government hospital in Tehran, state media said in a rare report on the state of health of the country’s top cleric.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, 75, who has the final say on all state matters and has been Iran’s top leader since 1989, was reported to be in “good condition” and his doctors said he was resting after the surgery.
President Hassan Rouhani visited the supreme leader in hospital after the procedure and later released a statement saying that Mr Khamenei’s condition was “very good and hence the people should not be worried”.
Mr Rouhani said he had offered to cancel his attendance at a regional summit in Tajikistan but that Mr Khamenei had convinced him to proceed with the planned trip.
The official IRNA news agency described the operation as “routine” and said it was successful, without giving details on what had prompted it or the underlying medical condition.
Head of Mr Khamenei’s medical team, Dr Ali Reza Marandi, told state TV that the procedure took less than half an hour and was performed under local anaesthetic. He said Mr Khamenei would need three to four days of rest.
Earlier in the day, state TV aired brief footage of Mr Khamenei before the surgery in which he asked people to pray for him.
“There is no room for concern, but this does not mean that they – the people – should not pray,” Mr Khamenei said.
Mr Khamenei was a close ally of the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomenei who led the 1979 Islamic Revolution and was later Iran’s supreme leader.