Ayatollah Khomeni's Home Torched?
Videos are circulating across social media that appear to show the home of the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeni, the architect of Iran’s Islamic Revolution in the late 1970s, being set on fire by protesters.
Video clips showing a fire at the ancestral home in Iran of the Islamic Republic's late founder, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, have appeared on social media, with activists saying it was torched by protesters.
Reuters verified the location of two video clips using the distinctive arches and buildings that match file images.
While Iran’s Tasnim news agency has denied reports of the arson, if the reports should prove true it would mark a dramatic shift in Iranian public opinion regarding the Islamic Republic Khomeini founded in 1979.
It also would mark a dramatic expansion of the protest movement that began in September over the death of Mahsa Amini, an Iranian Kurdish woman, who was detained by Iran’s morality police for wearing her hijab incorrectly. While Mahsa Amini remains a catalyzing force for protest, her death has been joined by the deaths of many more, most recently a 10-year old boy reported to have been shot by Iranian security forces.
State media said authorities held a funeral ceremony for seven people killed in the southwestern city of Izeh in what it described as a terrorist act.
But the mother of a 10-year-old victim, Kian Pirfalak, could be heard on social media videos blaming security forces for the shooting of her son.
Also of note are reports that protesters are not being passive, but are fighting back against the Basij militia forces being used to quell the protests. At least two militia personnel have been killed while trying to suppress anti-government demonstrations.
On Friday, Tasnim reported pro-government demonstrators in the northeastern city of Mashhad, where two members of the Basij militia were killed on Thursday.
Two intelligence agents were killed in clashes with protesters on Thursday night, according to the Revolutionary Guards' news site.
It also said that three other Revolutionary Guards and a Basij member were killed in Tehran, and one Basiji and one member of the police were killed in Kurdistan on Thursday.
This is starting to feel an awful lot like Iran in 1978, just before the Shah abdicated and fled the country. Ultimately, determined protesters will always outnumber the security forces deployed to suppress their protests—and if they persist in their protest, by sheer force of numbers they will prevail.
It is still too soon to say the Islamic Republic is about to collapse…but with each new escalation that tipping point moves ever closer. If the escalations continue, eventually Iran will reach that tipping point and the Islamic Republic will fall.
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