Iran's top authority, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has successfully undergone prostate surgery, according to Iranian state media. Mana Rabiee reports.
EDITORS PLEASE NOTE - RESENDING WITH CORRECTED RESTRICTIONS Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has undergone successful prostate surgery and is said to be recovering. After visiting Khamenei, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told state TV the country's most powerful leader is in good spirits. (SOUNDBITE)(Farsi) IRANIAN PRESIDENT HASSAN ROUHANI, SAYING: "I want to tell the dear and kind people of Iran, who of course always have their leader in their thoughts, to keep their prayers for him, for his health and for a long life for him." Rumors have circulated in recent years that 75-year-old Khamenei had prostate cancer . The head of his medical team says the operation was a routine procedure for a man of Khamenei's age, reportedly taking place without anesthetic at a state hospital. Khamenei is expected to go home in 5 or 6 days. Iran's Supreme Leader has substantial influence in Iran, with constitutional authority over the government as well as the military and media. Many say his departure would have a destabilising effect, and expose rivalries inside the Islamic Republic.