A group of enthusiastic volunteers led by roving Islamic judge, Ayatollah Khalkhali on Sunday (11 May) began attacking one of the last vestiges of Iran's former rulers, the marble tomb of Reza Khan, father of the deposed Shah.
GV EXTERIOR: O destroyed Mausoleum with people walking nearby
SCU: Ayatollah Sadeq Khalkhali speaking to by standers
GV: Workmen using drills on destroyed mausoleum PULL BACK TO GV remains of Mausoleum
GV: Soldiers and workmen standing in debris
GV: Soldiers and civilians walking past crane with Khalkhali
SCU: Chandelier from inside mausoleum lying in debris
GV: Broken doors and windows
GV: Worker with sledgehammer striking wall
CU: Khalkhali walking through crowd
GV: Mobile crane
GV: Remains of mausoleum still standing
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Background: A group of enthusiastic volunteers led by roving Islamic judge, Ayatollah Khalkhali on Sunday (11 May) began attacking one of the last vestiges of Iran's former rulers, the marble tomb of Reza Khan, father of the deposed Shah. But the mummified remains of Iran's first Pahlavi monarch, an illiterate Cavalry officer who seized power in a 1921 coup, had gone with his son into exile.
SYNOPSIS: The shrine, specially built by the deposed Shah, housed the remains of his father after he died in exile in South Africa in 1944.
Ayatollah Khalkhali wielded the first sledgehammer in the demolition act. He told the official Pars News Agency that the mausoleum, would be replaced by a lavatory for pilgrims to a nearby shrine. The Ayatollah, who claims personal responsibility for the death of two hundred of the Shah's staunchest supporters, had originally announced he was moving the headquarters of his extremist Islamic movement into the mausoleum.
President Bani-Sadr strongly ???ondemned the demolition, begun with picks, shovels and hammers, calling it selfish and unacceptable. He has ordered an inquiry to find what right the Ayatollah had to start the devastation.
The tomb was once the site of a burial full of pomp and ceremony ordered by the Shah for his father, after the second World War.
Ayatollah Khalkhali first called for the destruction of the mausoleum last August. His speech led people in the holy city of Qom to begin smashing other historic royal tombs.
The reinforced concrete walls have been offering their won resistance, and in the end the Revolutionary Guards will have to resort to dynamite.