• 15 June 2010
  • Posted By Shawn Vl
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran, Iran Election 2009, MEK

Whitewashing Neda’s Death

[vodpod id=Video.3838962&w=425&h=350&fv=]

This state-produced propaganda video was broadcast on the anniversary of the June 12th election, alleging that Neda Agha Soltan was not murdered by a Basij militiamember but rather by members of the Iranian government’s favorite scapegoat: the MEK.

In an interview with the suspect who is widely believed to have been behind Neda’s shooting, the video attempts to portray the Basiji as an innocent victim wrongly convicted in the court of public opinion. But when the filmmakers approached Neda’s sister to get her support for their version of events, she would have nothing of it.

What amazes me about this propaganda piece is not the fact that the regime is trying to cover up Neda’s death, but how they are trying to use Neda’s death as cover for the hundreds of other people that were also killed or went missing during the post-election uproar. Somehow, the government is under the impression that if they rid themselves of Neda’s death, then all their other crimes against the public will also be wiped clean. But it won’t work.

Neda is indeed a symbol of the Green Movement, but her death also bears witness to the other victims of the government’s brutality. If the hardliners want to truly redeem themselves, they need to come clean about the hundreds of other killings they’re responsible for, and the thousands of other crimes they’ve committed — not just this one.

Posted By Shawn Vl

    9 Responses to “Whitewashing Neda’s Death”

  1. Pirouz says:

    So let me get this right- if Iran TV ignored the entire affair, you would be criticizing it for not doing its job. And now that it does provide a documentary perspective, it is somehow trying to focus on this one rather than the others.

    Seems to me PBS had a similar focus, with a lot less critically applied journalism.

    I’m still waiting for an email back from Dr. Hejazi to explain his inconsistencies.

    How about that new interview from Neda’s supposed fiance on FOX? Talk about brownwashing Neda’s death…

  2. SLC says:

    Pirouz, you spend too much time here. Get a life.

    These bloggers, like every other blogger in the world, is entitled to their opinion, whether it agrees with yours or not.

  3. Iranian-American says:

    SLC, I don’t think the problem is how much time Pirouz spends, or how much he posts. I think those are more a reflection of the need to convince himself, more than anyone else, that his fantasy world is not as absurd as it most definitely is. I think Pirouz’s problem was best expressed in one of DOS’s responses. The real problem is that Pirouz time and time again misses the point of some very well articulated articles (e.g. this very one).

    Does anyone actually believe that Neda was killed by anyone other than agents of the government? It is absolutely absurd, and the fact that everyone in their right mind recognizes its absurdity must drive people like Pirouz mad. And I would guess that his posts are a manifestation of that madness.

  4. Pirouz says:

    SLC, agree or disagree. But just because you disagree, that’s no reason for insult.

    Iranian-American, I’m not mad. I’d like to know more about the Neda incident. I’d like to see a more critical examination of the evidence here in the West, and a response from Dr. Hejazi.

    Gentlemen, it’s called employing the method of analysis.

  5. Pirouz says:

    Post relevant to this incident.

  6. Iranian-American says:

    “… a response from Dr. Hejazi. Gentlemen, it’s called employing the method of analysis.”


    The fact that you are actually expected a response from Dr. Hejazi only further proves just how delirious you are. Pirouz, get serious for just a minute. Ask yourself why Dr. Hejazi is not writing you back. Do you think it is:

    A) Your “method of analysis” has uncovered some fundamental inconsistencies that have Dr. Hejazi without a response. He was not expecting such a insightful and brilliant blogger to employ such a thorough method of analysis.

    B) He thinks you are a quack. I’m sure analysts, experts, doctors and historians get emails from quacks regarding 9-11 and how it was really carried out by the US military, or aliens, or how the Jews killed JFK. Do you truly believe that your letter is not being ignored for the same reason those letters are ignored?

    If you honestly believe A, you are fooling yourself friend. Whether you are or not a quack, I hope you are not so delusional that you fail to realize that Dr. Hejazi, almost certainly, thinks you are a quack. This is also the same conclusion many people who are familiar with your posts have come to.

  7. becky says:

    Does anyone know how to find this video with an English translation, subtitles or some sort of explanation? Thank you.

  8. Cyrus Safdari says:

    Mark Pirouz, there’s nothing more pathetic than freaky crypto-nationalist Iranians living in California defending the regime out of a misguided belief that they’re supporting the Iranian people, subtle anti-Semitism that adores the IRI’s useless anti-Israel posturing and secret fascist tendencies perhaps nurtured during unhappy childhoods and adolescences. Get a job, get laid, get off the Iran kick, you creepy loser.

  9. hass says:

    The person posting under the name “Cyrus Safdari” is doing so fraudulently and is misrepresenting his identity. Please ignore him. He is not the real Cyrus Safdari

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Tell Google: Stop playing Persian Gulf name games!

May 14, 2012
Larry Page
Chief Executive Officer
Google Inc.
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, California 94043

Dear Mr. Page:

It has come to our attention that Google has begun omitting the title of the Persian Gulf from its Google Maps application. This is a disconcerting development given the undisputed historic and geographic precedent of the name Persian Gulf, and the more recent history of opening up the name to political, ethnic, and territorial disputes. However unintentionally, in adopting this practice, Google is participating in a dangerous effort to foment tensions and ethnic divisions in the Middle East by politicizing the region’s geographic nomenclature. Members of the Iranian-American community are overwhelmingly opposed to such efforts, particularly at a time when regional tensions already have been pushed to the brink and threaten to spill over into conflict. As the largest grassroots organization in the Iranian-American community, the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) calls on Google to not allow its products to become propaganda tools and to immediately reinstate the historically accurate, apolitical title of “Persian Gulf” in all of its informational products, including Google Maps.

Historically, the name “Persian Gulf” is undisputed. The Greek geographer and astronomer Ptolemy referencing in his writings the “Aquarius Persico.” The Romans referred to the "Mare Persicum." The Arabs historically call the body of water, "Bahr al-Farsia." The legal precedent of this nomenclature is also indisputable, with both the United Nations and the United States Board of Geographic Names confirming the sole legitimacy of the term “Persian Gulf.” Agreement on this matter has also been codified by the signatures of all six bordering Arab countries on United Nations directives declaring this body of water to be the Persian Gulf.

But in the past century, and particularly at times of escalating tensions, there have been efforts to exploit the name of the Persian Gulf as a political tool to foment ethnic division. From colonial interests to Arab interests to Iranian interests, the opening of debate regarding the name of the Persian Gulf has been a recent phenomenon that has been exploited for political gain by all sides. Google should not enable these politicized efforts.

In the 1930s, British adviser to Bahrain Sir Charles Belgrave proposed to rename the Persian Gulf, “Arabian Gulf,” a proposal that was rejected by the British Colonial and Foreign offices. Two decades later, the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company resurrected the term during its dispute with Mohammad Mossadegh, the Iranian Prime Minister whose battle with British oil interests would end in a U.S.-sponsored coup d'état that continues to haunt U.S.-Iran relations. In the 1960s, the title “Arabian Gulf” became central to propaganda efforts during the Pan-Arabism era aimed at exploiting ethnic divisions in the region to unite Arabs against non-Arabs, namely Iranians and Israelis. The term was later employed by Saddam Hussein to justify his aims at territorial expansion. Osama Bin Laden even adopted the phrase in an attempt to rally Arab populations by emphasizing ethnic rivalries in the Middle East.

We have serious concerns that Google is now playing into these efforts of geographic politicization. Unfortunately, this is not the first time Google has stirred controversy on this topic. In 2008, Google Earth began including the term “Arabian Gulf” in addition to Persian Gulf as the name for the body of water. NIAC and others called on you then to stop using this ethnically divisive propaganda term, but to no avail. Instead of following the example of organizations like the National Geographic Society, which in 2004 used term “Arabian Gulf” in its maps but recognized the error and corrected it, Google has apparently decided to allow its informational products to become politicized.

Google should rectify this situation and immediately include the proper name for the Persian Gulf in Google Maps and all of its informational products. The exclusion of the title of the Persian Gulf diminishes your applications as informational tools, and raises questions about the integrity and accuracy of information provided by Google.

We strongly urge you to stay true to Google’s mission – “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” – without distorting or politicizing that information. We look forward to an explanation from you regarding the recent removal of the Persian Gulf name from Google Maps and call on you to immediately correct this mistake.



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