Rumors Flurry About Ahmadinejad's Health Following Event Cancellations

Rumors could stem from opponents seeking to bar Iranian President from next year's elections.

Haaretz Service
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Haaretz Service

Recent days have seen a flurry of speculation on the health of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, after the Iranian President cancelled a series of speaking engagements.

Last week, Ahmadinejad cancelled a speech at the last minute, and his cabinet was forced to hold a meeting without him. Ahmadinejad also reportedly cancelled a planned appearance at an event to honor a Muslim cleric. A senior aide to Ahmadinejad has told reporters that the Iranian President is "not available."

Shahab News, an Iranian news website, last week said the cancellations were merely the continuation of previous cancellations by the president brought on by fatigue caused by his low blood pressure.

Last May, Ahmadinejad was absent for three straight weeks of state functions, including a scheduled face-to-face election meeting with voters. Shahab News has reported that the cancellations came at the behest of Ahmadinejad's doctors, who recommend he lessen his workload for the sake of his health.

Iranian political pundit Isa Sharkitz said the rumors could be the product of Ahmadinejad's political rivals, who could be looking for a way to remove the Iranian President from next year's presidential election.

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