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October 18th, 2009 - 3:12 pm

Perhaps it will help put things in context by looking at the supreme leader’s recent movements.  On October 5th he went from Tehran to Now Shar, where he visited a naval base and academy.  Later that day he went to the city of Chaloos, preached a sermon, delivered a speech and returned to Now Shar.  On the 6th he traveled by automobile to Ramsar,  a very beautiful resort city, and which is graced by a palace of the late shah.  Khamenei was supposed to spend three days there, but he wasn’t feeling well, and complained of difficulty in breathing.  He was therefore flown from Ramsar airport to Tehran.

He was treated at home by various specialists for several days.  He received oxygen to help him breathe.  The collapse came on Monday the 12th, and he was taken to a special clinic–originally built for Imam Khomeini–in Tehran.  Foreign specialists began to arrive on Wednesday the 14th, when he was examined by foreign doctors.  They included two famous Russian professors who had been in Iran previously, by three men described as “orientals” (could be Chinese or North Koreans; I don’t know), and two other doctors who identified themselves as swiss.  Throughout, the Iranian doctors kept saying “give him more oxygen.”  Medicine was delivered from abroad, coming straight from the airport to the clinic.

I am told  he was still in a coma late Friday afternoon, Tehran time. And he is still very sick.

He has had only one important visitor outside his immediate family and advisers: Hassan Nasrallah, the head of Lebanese Hezbollah.  Nasrallah flew in, I believe on Thursday night, went to the clinic, saw Khamenei for two-three minutes, and came out of the room “in tears.”

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