Iranian women walk past a poster of the late Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who died in 1989. (file photo)
Iranian protesters have set fire to the ancestral home of the Islamic republic's late founder, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, in the central Iranian city of Khomein.
Videos posted on social media show the house, which now serves as the Khomeini Museum, on fire late on November 17. Despite the video clips, the IRGC-affiliated Tasnim news agency denied the reports and claimed that the house was still open to visitors. According to Reuters, the images released on November 17 match old photos of the building, but Reuters said it could not confirm the exact time of the fire. Earlier, the opposition activist collective 1500tasvir reported that the incident happened on the night of November 17. At the same time, there were reports of protest gatherings in the city of Khomein, the hometown of Ruhollah Khomeini. The moves come amid a brutal crackdown by the government on weeks of unrest -- one of the deepest challenges to the Islamic regime since the revolution in 1979 -- that erupted following the September 16 death of Mahsa Amini while in police custody for allegedly wearing her head scarf improperly. During these protests, people repeatedly burned pictures of the former leader of the Islamic republic, Ayatollah Khomeini, and chanted slogans against the current leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Ayatollah Khomeini served as the first supreme leader of Iran from 1979 until his death in 1989. He was the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the leader of the 1979 Iranian Revolution, which saw the ouster of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and the end of the Persian monarchy. Following the revolution, Khomeini became the country's first supreme leader, a position created in the constitution of the Islamic republic as the highest-ranking political and religious authority of the nation, which he held until his death.