- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 31, 2013

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s most powerful man, who has served as supreme leader since 1989, may have suffered a relapse of a chronic illness, several media reports have revealed.

Iranian journalist Hossein Rostami, who runs the website Amariyoun, told The Times of London that “it is not good news coming our way from our master,” urging Khamenei supporters to “pray deeply for him.”

Ayatollah Khamenei, 74, has not been seen in public for three weeks. He failed to send out his customary greeting to Iranian pilgrims leaving for Mecca earlier this month, and he didn’t give an address on the Shiite holiday of Ghadeer last week, The Times of Israel reported.

Mr. Rostami reportedly was asked by Iranian authorities not to discuss the supreme leader’s health online. But on Wednesday, he posted the leader’s photo on Facebook, along with a poem on health by renowned Persian poet Hafez, The Times of Israel reported.