Ayatol-lah Ruhollah Khomeini appeared on Iranian television Saturday, two days after reports surfaced that the 87-year-old Iranian leader was dead.
Khomeini was shown at a meeting of volunteer guards at the Jamaran mosque, near his home in northern Tehran.The television report showed Khomeini sitting to one side of a podium as Ali Mohammed Rahmani, head of the volunteer guards, discussed the United States' impending $1.9 billion arms sale to Kuwait and other issues.
At the end of the meeting, Khomeini got slowly out of his chair and lifted his right hand to acknowledge the cheers of the guards. He did not speak and appeared weak, but he moved without assistance. The broadcast was monitored in Nicosia.
A British television station reported Thursday that an exiled Iranian writer in Paris thought Khomeini was dead because of unusual movements of officials in Tehran and because international phone lines had been shut off.
Oil prices jumped sharply on New York financial markets in late trading Thursday in response to rumors that Khomeini had died.
The Iranian embassy in Paris immediately denied the report. Khomeini's rare appearance Saturday, also reported by Tehran Radio, apparently was organized to undermine the rumors.
A spokesman for the Iranian resistance, in a telephone interview from Washington, said the Iranian government had orchestrated the rumors of Khomeini's death to distract people from Iran's recent setbacks in the nearly 8-year-old war with Iraq.