Iran Is Parading Cardboard Cutouts Of Ayatollah Khomeini

Please be upstanding for (a cardboard cutout of) Ayatollah Khomeini.

1. This is a cardboard version of Ayatollah Khomeini, Iran’s former supreme leader. Cardboard versions of him are being used to mark 35 years since his return from exile.

RUHOLLAH YAZDANI/AFP / Getty Images

The BBC reports the cutouts - seen here in 2012 - are now back, as part of celebrations to commemorate Islamic revolution. The cutouts weren’t to be seen last year however, possibly in response to ridicule at home and abroad.

His return on 1 February 1979 was celebrated by crowds of up to five million, according to the BBC.

2. So cardboard Khomeinis are getting off planes and being saluted across the country.

RUHOLLAH YAZDANI/AFP / Getty Images

3. But still, the cutout gets the welcome someone of his stature would command.

RUHOLLAH YAZDANI/AFP / Getty Images

4. To make it more strange, some of the planes are inflatable.

And they’re Air France planes, the airline Khomeini himself flew with when he returned in 1979.

5. Even government supporters started to ask questions in 2012 when a cutout made it to a Ministry of Education meeting.

6. Satirists in Iran and elsewhere have had fun imagining cardboard Khomeini in series of unlikely situations, such as the Moon landing.

7. In 80s films and David Hockney paintings.

 

8. And at the 2011 Royal Wedding.

9. Until next year, cardboard Ayatollah Khomeini.

RUHOLLAH YAZDANI/AFP / Getty Images

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