During intense unrest Thursday night, antigovernment protesters set fire to the house and museum of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic.
This was the ultimate act of defiance against the clerical regime that has failed to control nationwide protests since mid-September. The demonstrations have turned into a popular movement, reaching the farthest corners of the country, that simply aims to overthrow the Islamic Republic.
The demonstrations Thursday night commemorating those killed by government forces in the past few days drew into the night while protesters set fire to government buildings and seminaries.
In Khomein, the birthplace of Ayatollah Khomeini, people attacked and torched his family house which was turned into a museum in recent years. This unprecedented act of defiance became a sensation on Persian social media, with tens of thousands of people watching and sharing the video of the incident.
Videos show angry demonstrators also set fire to a seminary in the religious city of Qom near Tehran, as young people have targeted clerics in the street for verbal abuse and flipping their turbans off their heads.
Stones and Molotov Cocktails have become the main weapons for protesters who pelt anti-riot forces and set fire to large government propaganda banners in the streets. They also attack police stations and more often torch buildings used by the Revolutionary Guard’s Basij militia, who play a major role in attacking and killing protesters.
Government media said Friday that three Basij militiamen were killed Thursday in the religious city of Mashhad, while videos emerged showing other government agents wounded and running naked in the streets.
Overnight protests were also staged in scores of cities including Mashhad, Shahrekord, Masal, Sanandaj, Esfahan, Arak, Yazd, Saqqez, Lahijan, Bandar Abbas, Bijar, and Kermanshah. The geographic distribution of these cities covered from the northeast to the south and west of the country, with large protests also in central Iran.
Anit-regime slogans were chanted in tens of neighborhoods in capital Tehran.
Security forces fired live rounds and tear gas in several cities to crack down on the protesters.
In Bukan, people attacked government buildings torching a justice ministry office.Protesters in Rasht, also set fire to the office of a member of parliament.
Angered by killing of a 10-year-old child in Izeh in the oil-rich Khuzestan province, activist groups have called for mass protests across 20 cities on Friday.
According to Oslo-based Iran Human Rights Organization, at least 342 people including 43 children and 26 women had been killed by security forces in the ongoing nationwide protests until Wednesday.
Thousands have also been arrested in the last two months, with some being at risk of receiving death sentences for security-related charges.
Friday is expected to be another intense day of protests, as anonymous activists have called for continuing nationwide demonstrations until Monday, November 21.