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.”
Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, the head of the Guardian Council (and the effective leader with Khamenei incapacitated), inadvertently confirmed Nasrallah’s presence in his Friday sermon when he referred to a conversation between the two. The Nasrallah trip had not been announced in any of the Iranian media.
On Saturday morning or late Friday night, Khamenei was transferred from the special clinic to his own residence [palace] and many pieces of medical equipment were also transferred.
At noon, Saturday, Rafsanjani attempted to visit Khamenei but entry was refused and he was told to report back at 1600. When Rafsanjani reported back at 1600 he was told by Khamenei’s son that he could not see Khamenei, so Rafsanjani left again.
As for the alleged photos of the alleged meeting between Khamenei, Ahmadinejad, and Senegalese President Wade, I am confident that there was no such meeting. Wade only met with Ahmadinejad. The purpose of the short meeting was for Wade to deliver a formal complaint on behalf of various poor African countries. Iran, which this year chairs the Islamic Conference, had promised considerable aid to them, but as yet has failed to pay. So Wade asked Ahmadinejad to keep his promise.
I earlier speculated that the photos were falsified, but, as it turns out, the pics (and film broadcast on Iranian TV) were from the files. Wade had been four times to Tehran. The photo of Wade in a Western suit was taken at the meeting of the Islamic Conference in Tehran four months ago. The regime was in such a hurry to put paid to the stories about Khamenei’s illness that the news agencies failed to coordinate the pictures.
Finally, the most impressive evidence of the real condition of the Supreme Leader is that he did not appear in public after the terrible bombing today (Sunday). It would have been normal for him to go on television and address the Iranian people.