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Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is suffering from exhaustion, a close associate told the state news agency.

Mohammed Ismail Kowsari made the statement Sunday to counter speculation that Ahmadinejad would not run for re-election next year. A series of canceled appearances led to speculation recently that the Iranian president’s health is failing.

Ahmadinejad, who reportedly works 20-hour days, has been canceling public appearances and trips on and off since May, according to The Wall Street Journal.

“Anyone can feel tired and weak from working too much, it’s normal,” Kowsari said. “The president will eventually get better and return to his duties.”

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