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Regime talks of Neda as a martyr for revolution.


The Islamic government is contemplating naming Neda Agha-Soltan a martyr, asserting she died for the cause of the Islamic Republic.

Neda became a global household name and the emblem of the political unrest in Iran after she was shot and killed during a protest rally after the June elections.

Masud Zaribafan, the head of the Martyrs Foundation and the Devotees of the Revolution, was quoted by the Iranian Labor News Agency (ILNA) as saying: "From what the images show, she has been murdered by our opponents and enemies. As the Martyrs Foundation lacks the means, the Intelligence Ministry and those organs that do have the capability to find out the truth must disclose to us what the reality really was."

While Zaribafan said the videos appear to show Neda was shot by regime opponents, actually both videos begin only after she is shot and show her swift death on the pavement; they give no hint of who shot her.

Zaribafan said, "One way or the other, if her murder turns out to be a result of an enemy plot, then she qualifies for compensation from the Martyr's Foundation."

Her family would get any funds. The Martyrs Foundation makes payments to the survivors of those who have died in the revolution or war or in other ways have given their lives for the Islamic Republic.

But Neda's mother has been quoted as saying the family is not at all interested in seeing her cast as a martyr for the Islamic Republic.

President Ahmadi-nejad has claimed that Neda was killed by the Mojahedin-e Khalq. Others have accused the CIA or British intelligence. The one clear point is that the governmental is firm in blaming its opponents for the shooting.

The opposition is equally intent now on blaming Neda's death on the Basij or some other pro-regime agents. However, the initial news accounts of her death generally said the shooting came from faraway, with some reports speaking of a gunshot coming from the window of a building and others saying she was standing more than a block from the street where the protest was being held and from which gunshots could be heard.
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Publication:Iran Times International (Washington, DC)
Date:Oct 23, 2009
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