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Upon entering Iran, one can most definitely "feel the atmosphere from within," differing significantly from Western perspectives.  June 4th marks the anniversary of the death of Imam Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran.  It is a national holiday for Iranians, with many institutions closing for the day.  There is always a lot of preparation leading up to the event and billboards, and posters are put up all across the country, along with a string of announcements about Khomeini and the celebration of his death. So, you're in Iran at the time, you are bound to hear something about it. Khomeini was a Shia Muslim religious leader and revolutionary politician who led the 1979 revolution in Iran.  After that, he became the nation's first Supreme Leader, a position he held until the time of his death in 1989.  The title given to him was that of 'Grand Ayatollah.'  He is officially known as 'Imam Khomeini' in Iran and other parts of the world to his supporters.  To the rest of the Western World, he is known as 'Ayatollah Khomeini.' In Iran he is "considered legally inviolable," and it is not uncommon for Iranians to be punished, should they insult him in any manner and is seen as quite a serious offense. During the period of the 1979 revolution, many disagree with the "harsh treatment of intellectuals during his reign," although today, some Iranians are still in awe of Khomeini and how he overthrew Mohammad Reza's regime.  Reza's regime was supported by the US, and they feel that Khomeini succeeded in "denunciating Western influences in Iran."  Iranians grew to become "disillusioned" with the Shah's policies, and this saw the beginning of Khomeini's opposition movement.  Following incarceration and exile, Khomeini returned to Iran and declared it an Islamic republic.  It was then that he became Iran's political and religious leader for the next decade of his life. Iran's current leader, Hassan Rouhani continues to "grapple with this legacy," and is a reformer hoping for change. Today, Khomeini's shrine is a large tomb with a golden dome situated in the Beheshte Zahra cemetery, to the south of Tehran.  It is a well – built structure, attracting millions who come to commemorate his death.  Crowds of people fill the open grounds surrounding his shrine.  His supporters gather for prayers, and they include not only Iranians but also Afghans, Iraqis, Kurds, and Arabs.  Leading political figures are invited and attend the ceremonies as well. To some, Khomeini is seen as "the champion of Islamic Revival," as they commemorate his death while there are those who choose to favor Rouhani's reformist attitude.
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