Neda was no Martyr!

Neda Agha Soultan became a commodity that just could not be ignored


Neda was no Martyr!
by Siamack Baniameri

I was flipping channels the other night when I came across an interview with Reza Aslan who was predictably discussing the recent events in Iran. Good for him. The guy knows his shit and he sure has cashed in. During the interview, Aslan displayed his green bracelet with the word, “Neda” written on it and exclaimed that Neda Agha Soltan was the most recognized martyr of the green movement. Wow! I almost fell off my seat.

I then remembered that other organizations have claimed the same thing. We all remember Reza Pahlavi’s emotional leakage in the Press Club when he mentioned Neda’s name while weeping like a little girl and MKO’s leadership who have staked their claim to Neda’s legacy, not to mention leftist groups who claim that her father was a member of a leftist movement in Iran. I even remember my own cousin calling her the martyr of the Iranian freedom. Even the IRI government got in the act and claimed that she was murdered by foreign intelligence services and announced an investigation into her brutal murder.

Neda Agha Soltan became a commodity that just could not be ignored. Her sensational and vivid murder captured on video shocked the world and gave the opposition groups the image of purity and innocence they were longing for. Like vultures, they came for the feast.

Martyr by definition is a person who willingly and freely sacrifices her life for a cause that she passionately believes in. Neda was no martyr. She neither “willingly” nor “freely” scarified her life for the green movement or freedom for Iran or Iranians. Unlike Reza Aslan who is at the right place at the right time, Neda was at a wrong place at a wrong time. Neda did not ask for this. She did not even vote in the election and had no faith in IRI’s ability to reform itself. She regarded Mousavi as another gutless inner circle of the leader who, like his ally and mentor Khatami, will have no profound impact on making the lives of Iranians better. Neda just happened to get the shaft in the wrong end. If she could do it again, I promise you that she would go home with a BIG bilaakh in the air for the green movement, monarchists, leftists, MKO cronies and the makers of that stupid bracelet. The interesting part is that even the greenies didn’t at first acknowledge her as a martyr. They knew that she was not dumb enough to think that Mousavi could be a factor in preventing the demise of the Iranian pride and heritage. But the greenies soon realized that Neda was an institution that just will not go away and jumping on the bandwagon was in order.

Acts of brutal murders like Neda and others who lost their lives in recent events, torture and rape of prisoners, kidnapping and government assassinations have been taking place in Iran for the past 30 years during the time when Mousavi, Karoubi and Khatimi had been in power. What amazes me is that the trio acts as if the brutalities and crackdowns are new phenomenon that is unprecedented in Islamic Republic. And what amazes me more are those who still believe in these clowns.

Those who regard Neda as a martyr should be ashamed of themselves. She was too smart to be one you.


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more from Siamack Baniameri

Women are leading, please don't put them down

by bparhami on

I sense some resentment here that a woman has been identified as a symbol of the recent political movement in Iran. Putting down a man by likening him to a girl or woman is so passe. Women are leading in every aspect of the Iranian society. In fact, they have been leading quietly for many years now. They are the best students in Iranian universities, despite not getting all the same opportunities. So, please, look deep down inside and see where the resentment towards women comes from. By the way, if I slip, fall, and die while shopping at a supermarket, I do hope that my family appreciates and remembers me for losing my life while trying to provide for them. It is not a glamorous death, and not one I chose consciously, but it is worth remembering nonetheless.

Little Tweet

Not angry at you. I am just puzzled:

by Little Tweet on

You don't seem to like any of the oppositions from reformists to monarchists, you don't like IRI either. So are you going to beat on everybody else and fight IRI all alone?

Anahid Hojjati

Persian westender has valid critique of this posting

by Anahid Hojjati on

After I posted my comment, I saw persian westender's comment.  I know he is modest whenever I admire his writing.  But once again, he shows how wise he is.  Rather than exhibiting misplaced outrage, he criticizes the posting and brings his own valid points.

Anahid Hojjati

To Iran_e_abad, your outrage is misplaced

by Anahid Hojjati on

This posting has some valid points.  Some people may not like use of the word "bilakh" or some had valid arguments.  For instance,  Javaneh29 commneted :"..Neda represents the very heart of what this fight for freedom is all about. An innocent murdered just because they can do it and get away with it with no accountability .... Neda is the most perfect example of why freedom is worth fighting for and all the more because she wasnt an active participant. .."

But some of the outrage shown against the writer of this blog, such as those in comments by Iran_e_abad is misplaced and should be directed at killers.  To me, people like Iran_e_abad seem to be as outraged about an article they disagree with as they get about the killings. 

persian westender

You talk as if she was in

by persian westender on

You talk as if she was in the way to a grocery store and suddenly someone shot her. Although, none of us can claim what were her exact political views, one thing is clear. She did take part in the street protest, and the street protests were belonged to the green movement. She definitely were there, NOT by accident (as it could be implied from the other video footage showing her around the crowd with her teacher), and KNOWING about the hazards of being confronted by police, including being beaten, arrested or other consequences. Sadly, the worst happened to her. She could stay away from the street protests, but she preferred not. This voluntary and informed participation would be enough to make her as a martyr, even according to your incomplete definition of it based on “freely sacrifice”.

You may be right regarding her lack of affiliation to a particular political orientation. But I think, many people are out there in the streets, to say ‘No’ to the current system, rather than to say ‘Yes’ to a political opposition front, including the Mousavi’s. Those who are killed on this basis, therefore are martyrs of that ‘No’, rather than martyrs of affiliation to a political belief. Neda I think is one of them.

You second illusion is that you think green movement only belongs to reformists. Although the unrest was initiated by the reformists’ abjection to the fraudulent election, now there is a vast spectrum of ideological backgrounds involved in this movement. As no one can register this movement under its manifesto, Neda’s martyrdom also cannot be confiscated by a sole political fraction. Her death represents No sacrifice for a political orientation, but innocence of those who are brutally killed by this despotic system.  




You should know better

by Fred on

Inconvenient truth-telling is yucky and sucks big time.


Not funny at all

by Iran_e_abad on

You should be ashamed of yourself about what you have posted here.
You have written this article as if you are talking with bunch of your
not seemingly intelligent friends during a happy hour beer conversation.
Ignorant about the situations in Iran, indifferent about what is going
on in Iran, talking BILAKH and bullshit.

Lighten up! 

you can not be an effective voice of opposition, keep your
non-intelligent views to yourself. You are an ignorant and selfish
person who feels content about living abroad and not being in the middle of Iran. If your highest strategy for
opposing a regime is to show a BILAKH, then as the other person noted, you
need to stop flipping the channels and start following the news the
right way.


Let me point out one more thing, like the idiots who blindly follow the
leader , your language is language of waist under.  I don't know why,
but some people have difficulty thinking above the waistline.

You are better off keeping your thoughts around the subjects that you  are expert in; "The pussyfication of Iranian men".

Very brilliant Mr. Bilkah. Shame on you.



and you are not an intelligent person

by jimzbund on

May be try getting out into real world instead of flipping channels and see whtats going on . Neda is the one that the world saw her death live and that is why became a recognized icon. The heros and heroines of the past 30 years or so will be remembered in due time . Any human being was saddened by Neda's death including Reza Pahalavi and unless you are a sympathizer with IRI , you should have shed a teaar too.


Bund, Jimz Bund

Ali Akbar

gee liberation08 have you been sharing needles

by Ali Akbar on

with Zulfiqar110 for your opium and hashish journeys into the nether regions??? 

You sound like those other kooks who believe that the Apollo 11-17 moon landings were staged as well...


well why don’t you return to your vodka induced stupor and allow the rest of us human beings contemplate our next actions in the pursuit of justice for Neda's and other unnamed Iranian martyrs for democracy...


Siamack, you nailed it

by Princess on


Thank you.


On the subject of Neda

by javaneh29 on

Neda may not have been an active or willing participant in the riots, but god bless her she died before our eyes as a result of it. A young and beautiful young girl whose whole life was ahead of her. A life she will never have now and a life that her family , friends and many others who did not know her mourn deeply.

How hardened and compassionless some of you have become. How typical of some ppl here on IC to create pointless and meaningless blogs .. for what ? As far as I can see only for the sake of  it.

Shame on you is what I say.

Neda represents the very heart of what this fight for freedom is all about. An innocent murdered just because they can do it and get away with it with no accountability .... Neda is the most perfect example of why freedom is worth fighting for and all the more because she wasnt an active participant.

And then I read that  even someone has the cheek to suggest it was staged ! And the good Dr now in hiding, scared for his own life ? how do you explain him? How about her poor parents who were bullied and threatened. Ask them how real their daughters death was. Or can you come uop with some other paranoid rubbish.

My god some iranians are so cynical and absolutely paranoid and HEARLTESS. You make me sick to my stomach. You are as far removed from the iranian people's struggle as it is possible to get.

As for Reza Pahlavi, he isnt allowed to cry the same as an ordinary human with a heart, with compassion. That isnt allowed to him? He doesnt have the right? Is that what you're saying? In my eyes it only demostrates how much of a heart he has.

Javaneh totally disgusted by this post and most of the responses.


and your point is ..?

by Iran_e_abad on


How does it matter if she is called Martyr or not. You seem to be lost in the terminology neglecting the facts here.

The fact of the matter is that, someone was killed brutally in front
the camera in our beloved land. Who cares about where you get your
terminology on definition of Martyr. She is dead now, and she is our
NEDA and she will be remained as our NEDA. 

For your information, people haven't been ignorant about the brutality of regime before and this is not new to them.To educate you on the social behavior of the society I use an analogy.
Water has a boiling temperature. If you keep heating the water, at some
point it boils. You may boil a water for 10 minutes and nothing
happens, and all the sudden it starts boiling. It keeps the heat within
until it reaches  boiling. Same thing happens in social systems. People
remember everything and once they get to the boiling point, they
explode. I can't see why this is surprising to you.


i think neda's death may

by liberation08 on

i think neda's death may have been staged. the tape is suspicious.

but if she was murdered by the islamic regime then she is an example of the regime's brutality, whether she's a martyr or not

Anahid Hojjati

people should remember those killed in 80s by IRI

by Anahid Hojjati on

As people write more and more articles and poems about Neda and Sohrab, they should think about youth (and middle age and old people) of 80s who were killed in thousands and many were executed just because of their ideas. Many of them were very brave, idealistic people and yes, some were misguided.  But they should not be forgotten.  I recommend anyone who wants to write about Neda and Sohrab, also check into information about those killed past 30 yaers and try to remember them. Neda and Sohrab have been mentioned many many times. Make it a goal to come up with other names of pople executed in past 30 years and mention them along with Neda and Sohrab.

gitdoun ver.2.0

nice blog

by gitdoun ver.2.0 on

i agree she was not a Shaheed. And i agree with alot of what your saying.  But I feel morally and of course logically people sought to use her muder as a rallying cry against the IRI's Tyranny and calling them Vultures for doing so is overshooting the mark i feel. Also i'm not a fan of the Monarchy but to say Pahlavi was a girl for crying about Neda's Murder i feel is incorrect.