On February 1, 1979, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini — the leader of Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution — returned triumphantly to Tehran on an Air France flight from Paris after 14 years in exile.
Now, 33 years later, that return was reenacted in a bizarre ceremony that saw guards carrying a giant cardboard cutout of Khomeini down the stairs of a passenger plane and a waiting crowd paying their respects to “him.”
Iranians have been faced with many unusual and absurd events in the past three decades of the rule of the clerics. The February 1 ceremony, however, may have topped them all.
A series of pictures posted by the semi-official Mehr news agency shows two solemn looking guards carrying a cardboard Khomeini as others give the serious-looking, white-bearded cleric a military salute. A marching band is seen playing music in the background.
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