Iran unveiled a new statue of slain military commander Qassem Soleimani in his home province of Kerman on Saturday.
The 10-meter-long statue was erected in a square named after Soleimani in the city of Jiroft in Kerman.
Several officials and military commanders attended the unveiling ceremony of the statue, the official IRNA news agency said.
“This statue was erected so that we can always appreciate a man who sacrificed his life for the revolution and Islam,” IRNA quoted Jiroft’s governor as saying.
Soleimani, who headed the Quds Force – the overseas arms of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) – was killed in a US airstrike at Baghdad’s international airport on January 3.
The statue, which reportedly took five months to finish, has been mocked by some Iranians on social media.
“These Qassem Soleimani sculptures are more like three-dimensional caricatures than magnificent sculptures,” tweeted one user.
Iran unveiled another statue of Soleimani in the city of Bandar Anzali in Gilan province in March.
Authorities later covered up the statue with plastic after it was subject to ridicule on social media.
Some users had also expressed anger at the authorities’ willingness to spend resources on building the statue to commemorate Soleimani rather than on medical resources to combat the coronavirus outbreak, which had reached its peak in Gilan at the time.