Iranians poke fun at 1979 revolution commemorations

One of many hokey reconstructions of the plane that returned Ayatollah Khomeini from exile.
One of many hokey reconstructions of the plane that returned Ayatollah Khomeini from exile.



On February 1st, 1979, Ayatollah Khomeini touched down on Iranian soil in an Air France charter plane, heralding the end of his exile in France and the start of Iran’s Islamic revolution. Every year, the event is celebrated with special events and re-enactments that take place up and down the country.


Official festivities take place over two weeks. Diplomatic missions are invited to the main commemorative event, which is held at Ayatollah Khomeini’s mausoleum in a suburb of the capital Tehran. Then, officials organize a huge parade for ‘Bahman 22’, or February 11, the date when Iran’s former ruler, the Shah, was toppled from power. At the same time, local town councils are free to arrange their own events, which social media users have been quick ridicule. Several photos showing local low budget commemorations to mark the Ayatollah’s triumphant return have spread like wildfire across social media.

A reconstruction of Khomeini’s return to Tehran in a Chevrolet Blazer.


An inflatable Boeing in the city of Mashad.

The photo below was taken in the city of Khorramabad in western Iran. The quality of the ‘replica’ Boeing, as well as the glaring spelling mistake, prompted lots of jokes on social media. It got so bad, the local council secretly took it down under the cover of night.

But it wasn’t long before another second-rate replica sprung up in the town of Arak in the centre of the country. Same idea, different typo.

It’s not the first time that the outside world has poked fun at Iranian attempts to commemorate the event. Back in 2012, a hilariously oversized cardboard cutout of Ayatollah Khomeini was a laughing stock, even in foreign media outlets.

The commemorations are taking place just as Iran wraps up an order for 118 Airbus planes negotiated on the sidelines of an official state visit by President Rohani to France. Iranian social media users joked: “Please, check that no one’s lurking inside the Airbus planes! Last time, the French hid someone inside and he wreaked havoc on the country!”