timesofisrael — Iranian authorities on Sunday arrested an individual for destroying a statue of the Islamic republic’s founder Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini the previous day, a local official said.
The incident comes as Iran prepares to celebrate in February the 43rd anniversary of the Islamic revolution and Khomenei’s triumphant return to Tehran from exile.
It is the second reported attack against statues honoring revered figures of the Islamic republic this month.
“We have received a report stating that the statue of Imam Khomeini in the main square in the town of Ardestan was… destroyed yesterday,” local governor Hamidreza Taamoli said, quoted by the official IRNA news agency.
Ardestan is a town in the central province of Isfahan.Get The Times of Israel’s Daily Editionby email and never miss our top storiesNewsletter email addressGET ITBy signing up, you agree to the terms
“The individual was identified in the shortest possible time and sent to prison,” he added, without disclosing the detainee’s identity.
Screen capture from video of a statute of slain Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani that was set on fire in the Iranian city of Shahrekord, on January 5, 2022. (Screenshot/Twitter)
“It is not possible right now to speculate on the accused’s motives,” Taamoli added.
Earlier this month, the judicial authority announced the arrest of a “counter-revolutionary agent” on suspicion of carrying out an arson attack on a memorial to revered General Qasem Soleimani.
Soleimani, who headed the Quds Force, the foreign operations arm of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, was killed in a US drone strike in Iraq’s capital Baghdad in January 2020.
The statue of him, in the southwestern town of Shahrekord, had been unveiled just hours before the arson attack.