Ayatollah laid to rest: Iran, 1989

Crowds of mourners pay their respects to Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in Iran © Getty Images

On 6 June, in the searing heat of Iran, crowds of mourners reported to be in their millions pack the 25-mile route from Tehran to Behesht-e Zahra, graveyard of the dead of war and revolution.


Iran’s beloved revolutionary leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, had died three days earlier, sparking a widespread and public outpouring of grief. At his funeral, fire fighters spray crowds with water to cool them, and mourners tear at the Ayatollah’s robes for souvenirs. A number of people are crushed to death as chaos descends.