Iran’s Ahmadinejad Recovers from Illness

A04752121.jpgTEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is often laid low by overwork and exhaustion but has gone on to make a full recovery, the culture minister said on Sunday.

“He is in good shape and better than me,” Mohammad Hossein Saffar Harandi told reporters.

Asked if the 52-year-old president had been ill, Harandi said, “Because of overwork it happens to him a lot.”

Blood “pressure dropping, going to the ICU (intensive care unit) and receiving intravenous (treatment) has happened to him before and does happen,” he said.

It is not unusual for Ahmadinejad to work 21 hours a day with no rest, said the minister.

On Wednesday, Ahmadinejad called off a speech because he felt unwell, fuelling speculation on some Iranian news sites that he may be unfit to seek re-election next year.

An MP close to Ahmadinejad on Saturday branded such comments as “psychological warfare” against the conservative camp in Iranian politics.

“The president will eventually get well and continue his work and some people will only be disgraced,” Mohammad Esmail Kosari told the Islamic republic news agency.

Iranians go to the polls in June 2009 to choose a new president and Ahmadinejad has yet to officially announce his candidacy.

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