Iranian protesters set fire to Khomeini’s ancestral home: images

Iranian protesters set fire to Khomeini’s ancestral home: images


Protesters in Iran have torched the ancestral home of the Islamic Republic’s founder, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, two months after the start of the anti-regime protest movement, images showed on Friday.

The house in the town of Khomein in western Markazi province was torched late Thursday as crowds of cheering protesters marched past, according to images released to social media and confirmed by AFP.

Khomeini is said to have been born around the turn of the century in the house in the town of Khomein from which his surname derives.

Becoming a cleric deeply critical of US-backed Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, he went into exile but then returned triumphantly from France in 1979 to lead the Islamic revolution.

Khomeini died in 1989 but remains the object of admiration from the clerical leadership under successor Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

The house was later turned into a museum commemorating Khomeini. It wasn’t immediately clear what damage it had sustained.

The protests, sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini, who was arrested by the vice squad, pose the greatest challenge on the streets to Iran’s leadership since the 1979 revolution.

They were fueled by anger over Khomeini’s compulsory headscarf for women, but have morphed into a movement calling for the end of the Islamic Republic itself.

Images of Khomeini have occasionally been torched or defaced by protesters, in taboo-breaking acts against a figure whose death is still marked with a mourning holiday every June.

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