By NASSER KARIMI
TEHRAN, Iran (Oct. 26) – Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has fallen ill due to exhaustion brought on by his heavy workload, a close associate has told the Iranian state news agency.
The announcement comes as doubts have surfaced over whether Ahmadinejad, who faces strong criticism from opponents, will seek re-election next year.
Parliament member Mohammad Ismail Kowsari, an ally of the president, said late Saturday that Ahmadinejad was feeling under the weather because of the strain of his position, according to the news agency, IRNA.
“The president will eventually get well and continue his job,” said Kowsari, who accompanied Ahmadinejad last month to the U.N. General Assembly. “Every human being can face exhaustion under such a workload.”
Ahmadinejad, who rarely misses meetings and public appearances, canceled a speech Wednesday at a conference and did not appear at a Cabinet meeting the same day. But the president, who turns 53 on Monday, did attend a religious ceremony on Saturday in Tehran, though he looked tired as he greeted supporters.
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