June 27, 2009
See this post for background on NEDA AGHA-SOLTAN. It includes a video interview with the Iranian physician, Dr Arash Hejazi, who tried to save her life right there as she lay dying. He had his hands directly on her wound, which he says was a single entrance wound to the front of her chest right below the throat and that there was no exit wound. It’s important because the Iranian ambassador to Mexico is claiming that the CIA shot her in the back and that the bullet removed from her brain was one the CIA uses. Dr Hejazi dismisses the notion an autopsy was even performed because she was “buried so fast afterwards”.
It is comments like these that totally expose them for what they are: impotent cowards unable to manage their own mess. The more they insist the US was involved – when a credible eyewitness said it was a Basij who killed her – the more desperate they appear.
Transcript. How things were in Iran.
REZA SAYAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT had just left Tehran.
They are convinced that the international media, including CNN, are part of the conspiracy to incite violence and destabilize the government….They have one claim that CNN has instructed its viewers how to hack government Web sites. And, of course, you heard the audacious claim, far-fetched claim, when it comes to Neda, the 26-year-old who was killed. Keep in mind the timeline of Neda. She was shot and killed on Saturday, buried on Sunday under pressure from the government. And they want you to believe that during two or three days, they finished off the investigation and they’re convinced that, as you heard, that the CIA is the culprit. Another theory is the MKO, the military organizations committed to toppling the government, that they’re possibly the culprit.
BLITZER: Reza, tell our viewers what happened to you, because you were reporting excellently until all of a sudden, they told you can’t leave the office, you can’t report anything. And then you were called in, what, Tuesday for a meeting with an Iranian intelligence official?
Yes. That happened on Tuesday. We got the call earlier in the day, at 4:00 p.m. “You have a meeting.” They wouldn’t tell me who. We walked into the Ministry of Guidance there. Alone in a room, I met an intelligence official, and he proceeded to tell me that they had evidence that we had violated the ban on reporting since it went into effect on Saturday.
He wouldn’t substantiate it, but he said, “We have evidence,” and then he proceeded to say that “We’re willing to put that behind us as long as you do this.” He pushed forward a piece of paper. He said, “I need you to write on this piece of paper that you are no longer going to report anything out of Iran unless it’s a positive report. And unless you do this, you have 24 hours to leave, and if you decide to stay, we can’t guarantee your safety and we can’t guarantee you’ll come back here and report again.”
And it was a pretty easy decision. There was no way we were going to sign a statement declaring that, especially with a government that has a reputation of suppressing journalists. So, we made the decision to leave.
NY Times’ ROGER COHEN:
I simply made the decision that I was going to go on reporting from the streets until somebody told me to stop…And I tried to do that for as long as I could. I did it until my visa expired. But the aim is intimidation. And let’s not forget the “Newsweek” local reporter is in jail, a Greek reporter for “The Washington Times” has been accused of spying. He’s disappeared. The BBC correspondent has been thrown out.
...I left with a very heavy heart. What is going on in Iran is intensely moving. It’s heartbreaking. It’s uplifting. And it’s unresolved.
BLITZER’S INTERVIEW WITH IRANIAN AMBASSADOR TO MEXICO as per CNN translation.
This below is from the LA Times’ ANDREW MALCOLM, which of course provides no link to the source, and has a slightly different translation than CNNs.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Well, we’re anxious to hear your government’s response to all of these developments which have been very dramatic over the past two weeks. A key question many people around the world are asking is, why did your security forces kill that 26-year-old beautiful student named Nada?
MOHAMMAD HASSAN GHADIRI: I prefer to answer this in Persian.
BLITZER: Go ahead.
GHADIRI (through interpreter): This death of Ms. Nada is very suspicious. She was shot from behind. The location was where there was not much demonstration, there was no police presence and the gun that shot and killed her was a smuggled gun. It was not a government-issued gun.
BLITZER: There have been others, though, that have been killed, as well.
GHADIRI (through interpreter): In our view, this would be the work of those who wanted to put more fuel to the flame against the government….
My question is that how is that this Nada was shot from behind and several cameras take that. And this is done in an area where there was no important demonstration. If the CIA wants to kill some people and attribute that to the elements of the government, and then choosing a girl would be something good for them because it would have much higher impact.
Therefore, we believe and we are looking into this to find who the elements were who did this.
BLITZER: Are you seriously accusing the CIA of killing Neda?
GHADIRI (through interpreter): We say that the bullet that was found in her head was not a bullet that you could find in Iran. These are the bullets that the CIA and terrorist groups use. Of course they warned that there would be a bloodshed in these demonstrations and then they could attribute that to the Islamic Republic. This is part of a common act of CIA in various countries.
BLITZER: Do you really believe that, Mr. Ambassador? You’re a distinguished diplomat representing Iran. This is a very serious accusation that you’re making, that the CIA was responsible for killing this beautiful, young woman.
GHADIRI (through interpreter): I’m not saying that the CIA had done this. There are different groups. Could be intelligence services, could be CIA, could be the terrorists. However, these are the people who do these things…. Of course, you’re not going to say that CIA is a sacred organization that hasn’t done anything to other worlds.
It is possible to get shot in the chest and have the bullet wind up in another part of the body. It would have to enter a blood vessel and then travel while the heart is still pumping. It is a very rare occurrence.