PARIS: Protesters in Iran set fire to the ancestral home of the founder of the Islamic republic, 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 the western province of Markazi, was set on fire on Thursday evening with crowds of jubilant protesters marching, according to images posted on social media, verified by AFP.
Khomeini is said to have been born in the townhouse of Khomein – from which his surname derives – around the turn of the last century.
He became a cleric deeply critical of the US-backed Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, 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 adulation by the clerical leadership under the successor Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
The house was later turned into a museum commemorating Khomeini. It was not immediately clear what had damaged it.
The protests sparked by the death of Mahsa Aminiwho had been arrested by the vice police, poses the biggest street challenge to Iranian leaders since the 1979 revolution.
They were fueled by anger over the compulsory headscarf for women imposed by Khomeini, but morphed into a movement calling for an end to the Islamic republic itself.
Images of Khomeini have occasionally been set on fire or defaced by protesters, in taboo-breaking acts against a figure whose death is still marked every June by a mourning holiday.

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