IRAN: Iranian protesters set fire to the ancestral home of the founder of the “Islamic Republic,” Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, as they continued their two-month-long anti-regime protests.
Images shared on social media showed the house in the western Markazi province city of Khomein blazing late Thursday, with throngs of jubilant demonstrators passing by.
Regional authorities denied there had been an arson attack, despite news organisations’ confirmation of the videos’ location.
The house, which is now a museum honouring Ayatollah Khomeini’s life, is said to have been the place where he was born.
Khomeini’s Islamic revolution in Iran deposed the pro-Western Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi in 1979, ushering in the theocratic administration that still dominates the nation today.
He served as Iran’s first supreme leader from the time of his ascension until his passing in 1989, which is currently remembered with a national day of grief every year.
Several individuals can be seen cheering as the fire starts in Khomein’s social media videos. An activist network said that the video was shot on Thursday night. However, the Iranian news outlet denied that a fire had occurred.
The outlet reported that a small group of individuals had assembled in front of the residence and later uploaded a video of it, claiming it was accessible to “pilgrims and lovers of the deceased imam.”
The agency further stated that “the doors of the house of the late founder of the great revolution are open to the public.”
The fire at his family home is just the most recent instance in a string of protests against his successor, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and his administration that have spread across the country.
After Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman who had been arrested by morality police for allegedly violating the stringent hijab requirements, died while in detention two months ago, protests against Iran’s religious establishment erupted.
They began as a backlash against Khomeini’s demand that women cover their heads, but they have since grown into a movement calling for the overthrow of the Islamic republic as a whole.
Khomeini images have occasionally been set on fire or vandalised by demonstrators, violating taboos against a historical person whose passing is still commemorated each June with a day of sorrow.
On Friday, mourners mocked the government and yelled anti-regime slogans at the funeral of a young child whose family claims he was slain by Iranian security personnel.
According to a video uploaded online, hundreds of mourners went to the city of Izeh in south-western Iran for Kian Pirfalak’s funeral.
Despite Iranian officials’ insistence that he was killed in an “extremist” incident, Kian’s mother said that he was shot by security personnel on Wednesday at the funeral ceremony.
In the south-western city of Izeh, mourners shouting “death to Ali Khamenei” gathered for the funeral of the nine-year-old boy, Kian.
More protests over civilian deaths attributed to security personnel occurred in the cities of Tabriz, Mahabad, and Zahedan.