Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has visited the mausoleum of Imam Khomeini south of the Iranian capital, Tehran, to pay tribute to the late founder of the Islamic Republic.
The visit took place on the occasion of Ten-Day Dawn celebrations and in the run-up to the 38th anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, which put an end to the US-backed Pahlavi monarchy.
The festivities started all over the nation at 9:33 a.m. local time (0603 GMT) on Tuesday, the time when the late founder of the Islamic Republic arrived back home on February 1, 1979 from exile.
A special ceremony was held at Imam Khomeini’s mausoleum south of Tehran, with a host of senior state and military officials as well as thousands of people in attendance.
Simultaneously, special ceremonies were observed in more than 80 Iranian cultural centers in 60 countries to mark the first of the Ten Days of Dawn.
Imam Khomeini spent more than 14 years in exile, mostly in the Iraqi holy city of Najaf. He also spent some time in Turkey and France, before his return to Iran.
The Ten-Day Dawn festivities culminate in nationwide rallies on February 10 this year, the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution.
Also on Wednesday, Ayatollah Khamenei paid respect to the martyrs of the Islamic Revolution, soldiers martyred during the Iran-Iraq war back in the 1980s as well as the military advisers killed in Syria.
The Leader also visited the tombs of the 16 heroic firefighters, who lost their lives battling a massive blaze that consumed a high-rise in downtown Tehran on January 19.
In a message issued on the eve of the burial procession earlier this week, Ayatollah Khamenei praised the sacrifices of the firefighters, saying they are "martyrs on the path of a difficult service and fulfilling a risky duty and, God willing, will never be forgotten.”