Iran: Reports supreme leader dead false

UNITED NATIONS, Jan. 5 (UPI) -- Iran's ambassador to the United Nations says there is no truth to reports his nation's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Hoseini-Khamenei, has died.

Reports had surfaced on the internet Friday the 67 year-old Khamenei died. There were reports last month he was seriously ill.


But, Javad Zarif, Iran's ambassador to the United Nations, told United Press International, "There is no truth to that" when asked about the reports.

Khamenei has been Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran since 1989.

The former Persia became a republic in 1979 when conservative clerical forces established a theocratic system of government. The unltimate political authority was put in the hands of a senior religious scholar, in this case, Khamenei.

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