The incident comes amid a renewed wave of protests in Iran marking the anniversary of a bloody crackdown in 2019.
Videos shared on social media appear to show the house of Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, on fire, with activists saying it was set ablaze by protesters – a claim that the state media has been rejected.
Reuters and AFP both said on Friday they had verified the locations of video clips showing the late leader’s house on fire, with crowds of anti-government protesters marching past, in the town of Khomein, Markazi province.
However, the semi-official Tasnim news agency denied that Khomeini’s house had been set on fire, saying a small number of people had gathered outside the house.
“The report is a lie,” the Tasnim news agency said, adding, “The doors of the house of the late founder of the great revolution are open to the public.”
News agencies could not independently verify the dates the videos were recorded. Activist network 1500Tasvir said the incident happened on Thursday.
The house of the late leader was turned into a museum after his death in 1989.
The videos emerged as nationwide protests swept through cities in Iran following the mid-September death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini. She died in the custody of the vice squad after being detained for not following the country’s dress code for women.
This week saw a renewed wave of demonstrations to mark the anniversary of an earlier round of deadly protests in 2019, when hundreds of people were killed taking to the streets following a fuel price hike.
Numerous cities across the country saw chaotic scenes, The deadliest incident occurred Wednesday night in the southwestern town of Izeh, Khuzestan province, killing at least seven people, including two boys aged nine and 13.
Anti-government Iranians have blamed authorities for the incidents, while Iranian authorities have said two “terrorists” on a motorcycle opened fire on a crowd with an assault rifle.
At least three protesters were killed on Tuesday in protests that erupted in three different cities, according to human rights groups based abroad.
So far at least five people have been sentenced to death in cases related to the demonstrations, the Iranian judiciary said.
Foreign-based human rights organizations estimate that nearly 400 people have died since the protests began, but Iranian authorities have yet to release official figures.