Iranian protesters set fire to house of former leader Ayatollah Khomeini

19 November 2022, 13:45 | Updated: 19 November 2022, 15:21

The house which was set fire to belonged to former Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini (R)
The house which was set fire to belonged to former Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini (R). Picture: Twitter/Getty

By Kit Heren

Protesters in Iran have set fire to the ancestral home of the former leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

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Khomeini, who died in 1989, founded the Islamic Republic of Iran after the revolution of 1979, ushering in the strict theocratic regime that persists to this day.

The arson attack is among the latest acts of protest by anti-regime campaigners, who have been on the streets for weeks after the death in custody of Iranian Mahsa Amini, who was held by police for not wearing a hijab.

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Photos and videos posted on social media show a house on fire, with reports online that it is the house of the former leader in the city of Khomein, about 200 miles south of the Iranian capital, Tehran.

An activist group said the incident took place on Thursday this week.

Mahsa Amini died after being arrested by Iran's morality police for violating the nations strict dress code
Mahsa Amini died after being arrested by Iran's morality police for violating the nations strict dress code. Picture: Alamy

News agencies have verified the location as Khomeini's house, which functions as a museum and is usually open to visitors.

But local authorities have denied there has been an attack.

The semi-official Tasnim news agency said a small crowd had formed outside the house, later posting a video that said the residence was open to "pilgrims and lovers of the deceased Imam".

Protesters against the Iranian government this Sunday
Protesters against the Iranian government in London. Picture: Alamy

The attack comes as large anti-government protests erupted in Iran on Friday at the funeral of a child killed in a shooting that his mother blamed on security forces.

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It is the latest in a wave of demonstrations that have flared across the country over the past two months, rapidly escalated into calls for the overthrow of Iran's ruling clerics and an end to the theocracy established after the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Videos circulating on social media showed hundreds of protesters at the funeral for nine-year-old Kian Pirfalak in the south-western city of Izeh.

A placard bearing a picture of Mahsa Amini
Iran-Protests-Celebrities. Picture: PA

Protests also erupted in the eastern city of Zahedan, which has seen the deadliest violence since the nationwide demonstrations began.

Authorities have heavily restricted media access and periodically shut down the internet as they struggle to contain the biggest challenge to their leadership in more than a decade, making it difficult to confirm details of unrest in different parts of the country.

State-run media in Iran reported that seven people were killed and several wounded, including security forces, in a shooting in Izeh on Wednesday.

Authorities blamed the attack on "terrorists" without providing further details.

"The doors of the house of the late founder of the great revolution are open to the public," Tasnim added.

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