Breaking the Language Barrier on Human Rights

Caspian, What Have You Done?

March 24, 2010

If you are not familiar with the recent news on Caspian Makan, check out these links:

A Farsi blog on the news

LA Times article on the news

Caspian Makan, who was Neda Agha Soltan’s boyfriend, met with Israeli president Shimon Peres on Monday March 22, 2010. The meeting has resulted in censure by opposition supporters in the virtual world. So why all the fuss?

The following analysis is written by

1)  The regime tries to link the opposition movement to foreign powers (it is important to note that the Iranian regime has always linked opposition movements to foreign powers), therefore they will have a field day with the image of Makan and Peres together. The regime will claim that the picture is evidence of who supports, leads, sponsors, or inspires what is popularly coined as the Green movement.

2) Israel is looked upon negatively by many Iranians, especially those who are on the fence (I.e. they are torn between supporting the regime and supporting the opposition). The Iranian government is an expert in manipulating information to fulfill its own agenda. The picture of Makan and Peres can easily accompany a bogus article or a television “investigative” report on Iran’s state-controlled media channels. The regime-endorsed media will present so-called facts to persuade readers and viewers that Israel has been behind Iran’s post-election unrest. Of course, a large portion of Iranians will brush off the news as another attempt at propaganda by the regime, but there will be a significant amount of people who will also believe it. The movement right now is in need of more forces and therefore needs to reach out to those who are suspicious of the opposition’s intentions and ties.

3) The main political leaders of the Green movement (Karroubi and Mousavi) consider themselves part of the Islamic establishment, which means that they are also fiercely opposed to Israel (I.e. its policies). Now with a picture to use against the opposition, the regime may have an easier time discrediting or prosecuting political figures likes Karroubi and Mousavi.

4) Neda is the symbol of the opposition movement. Any link between her and Israel is unwelcome by a noticeable number of Iranians. Even people like Hamid Dabashi and Akbar Ganji who are supporters of the Green movement are big critics of Israel.

5) It was Neda who became the symbol of the opposition movement, not Caspian Makan. In the meeting, Makan stated, “I come to Israel as an ambassador of the Iranian people, a messenger from the camp of peace…I have no doubt that Neda’s spirit and soul feels the sensitivity and warmth I received in this meeting.” Not many Iranians, if any, have reported supporting or endorsing Caspian Makan as an ambassador of the Iranian people. Now, Neda’s family could possibly face increasing pressures by the Iranian regime.

6) Neda’s name seems to be used in political vain. Yet, there is a very good chance that Caspian Makan did not organize and plan the meeting on his own, which can mean his statements are all constructed and motivated by an agenda possibly created by someone else. The question remains who is working with him and what are the motives?

– Siavosh J. and Shayesteh Irani

  • Balatarin
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    1. 3/24 Links II
    2. Iran: The Controversy over Neda’s “Fiance” - Why We Protest - IRAN

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