Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is recovering from prostate surgery, which Iranian state media has described as “routine”.

The 75-year-old cleric appeared on television before going to hospital saying “there is no reason to worry” and asking people to pray for him.

Khamenei, the Iranian head of state, assumed office in 1989, replacing the country’s revolutionary leader Ruhollah Khomeini.

The announcement of Khamenei’s surgery before the procedure was unprecedented as the Supreme Leader’s health is normally kept secret from the media.