Video clips showing the ancestral home in Iran of the late founder of the Islamic republic Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini on fire have been widely shared 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.
The semi-official Tasnim news agency, however, denied Khomeini’s house was set on fire, saying a small number of people had gathered outside the house.
The social media videos show dozens of people cheering as a flash of fire is sparked in a building.
Reuters could not independently verify the dates when the videos were filmed. Activist network 1500Tasvir said the incident occurred on Thursday evening in Khomeini’s birth town of Khomein, south of the capital Tehran.
The house had been converted into a museum.
“The report is a lie,” said the Tasnim news agency, adding: “the doors of the house of the late founder of the great revolution are open to the public.”
Khomeini died in 1989.
His successor, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has been under intense pressure from nationwide protests calling for his death since the Sept. 16 death of young Iranian Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini in the custody of Iran’s morality police.
Separate videos posted by Tasvir purported to show marchers in several cities in the restive Sistan-Baluchistan province, including in the capital Zahedan, where protesters chanted “Death to Khamenei”, and Chabahar, where demonstrators removed and trampled the sign of an avenue named after Ayatollah Khomeini.
Reuters could not independently verify the authenticity of those videos.
On Friday, the semi-official Tasnim news agency 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.