A close associate of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the Iranian leader has fallen ill under the strain of his position. The official Iranian news agency has quoted Mohammad Ismail, a parliament member and close ally of the Iranian president, as saying Ahmadinejad was sick "but will eventually heal."
Kowsari, who made his comments early Sunday, accompanied the president on his September visit to the U.N. General Assembly meeting in New York. According to the AP, the Iranian president reportedly works a 20 hour day and has not appeared in public since Tuesday.
State television on Saturday said he participated in the funeral ceremony for recently discovered remains of soldiers from the 1980s Iran-Iraq war, but showed no images of him. Over the weekend, press reports have claimed that due to his poor health, Ahmadinejad will not participate in the next presidential election.