Images have been posted online appearing to show a man setting himself on fire in front of the Foundation for Martyrs and Veterans’ Affairs building in Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad province.
Shared on Tuesday, October 19, the pictures were said to show the son of a “martyr” – the term used in Iran for Iran-Iraq War veterans and others killed in combat – but the Martyrs’ Foundation later described him as a “veteran”.
Speaking to ISNA news agency, local director-general Mansour Mousavi said the man had first gone straight to the Martyrs’ Foundation building’s roof in an attempt to throw himself off.
The team, he said, had managed to talk him down and bring him inside, where it emerged that he had attempted suicide due to unemployment and poverty.
“After the staff promised to give him a loan, he seemed to be satisfied and left the building,” he said. "But half an hour later, he returns with gasoline and sets himself on fire."
The man was said to be just 37 years old. According to ISNA, he suffered 70 percent burns and is currently in hospital.
The governor of Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad has called for a thorough investigation into the incident and issued a warning to staff at the Martyrs’ Foundation.