Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei was hospitalized on Wednesday and is in critical condition, according to Israel Hayom, which cited Arab sources in the region.
The Iranian Ayatollah, 75, was reportedly rushed to a hospital after developing complications from his ongoing bout with prostate cancer. Reports stated that the autocrat underwent emergency surgery overnight and remains in the hospital in critical condition.
Citing intelligence sources, France’s Le Figaro estimated on Saturday that Khamenei only had two years left to live, due to his prostate cancer purportedly reaching stage four and spreading throughout the rest of his body.
Khamenei was admitted to an Iranian hospital last year in September to undergo treatment for his prostate cancer.
Ali Khamenei has ruled Iran as its ultimate authority since 1989. He has been a prominent political figure since the beginning of the Shah’s overthrow and the installation of an Islamic Republic in 1979.
Under Khamenei’s rule, Iran has become the largest promulgator of terrorism worldwide. The Islamic Republic controls Shiite terror group Hezbollah, which has developed de facto sovereignty in southern Lebanon, and maintains close ties with several Latin American governments. Iran also maintains heavy influence over Iraq, Syria, and the Houthi-led coup government in Yemen.
While serving as President of Iran, Khamenei oversaw the 1983 bombing against the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, which resulted in the deaths of 241 American servicemen. The next year, Iran would again support a Hezbollah operation against the U.S. embassy annex in Beirut, which resulted in the deaths of two dozen people.
U.S. officials believe that during the most recent Iraq war, Iran had been manufacturing and supplying IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) to America’s enemies, killing an untold number of U.S. troops.
In May 2014, the Supreme Leader told a crowd in a military parade that Iran intended to destroy the United States through “battle and jihad.”
Ironically, the news of the dictator’s hospitalization comes on the Jewish holiday of Purim, which commemorates the Jewish people thwarting a Persian plot to destroy them. The Book of Esther states that Haman, who served as a minister to who is believed to be King Xerxes I, planned to commit genocide against Persia’s Jews, but his plot collapsed after Mordecai and Esther exposed it.
It remains unclear who would rise to become Supreme Leader should Khamenei’s health falter. He has not yet publicly appointed a successor to his dictatorial platform.