In defence of Caspian Makan


by Observing_Iran
The Jerusalem Post has reported that Caspian Makan, the fiance of Neda Agha Soltan has been to Israel and has spoken with the Israeli President, Shimon Peres. Since then there's been a lot of complaints, anger and outright disgust at Mr Makan's actions, sadly most of it from the so-called "reformist" Green Movement.

Mr Makan, having been tortured in Iran after the murder of his fiance, fled and went to Canada. Since then he has done a lot of good work in trying to keep the focus on the situation in Iran and the what's been going on since June 2009. He arrived in Israel last week and was quoted as saying "I come to Israel as an ambassador of the Iranian people, a messenger from the camp of peace" and "I have no doubt that Neda's spirit and soul feels the sensitivity and warmth I received in this meeting". President Peres in turn replied by saying “you can murder a person, but not a spirit. One candle can scatter a lot of darkness. And this candle will not be extinguished. In this struggle, I am sure that the progressive and moral Iran will emerge victorious.”

Every Islamic Republic passport bears the statement, "the bearer of this passport is forbidden from traveling to occupied Palestine" i.e. Israel. By visiting Israel Makan has essentially given two fingers to the regime. But what's happened since the meeting has been very telling and of great interest to me:

Now, here's what I think:

The charge that Makan was not Neda's fiance is patent nonsense, and Neda's mother herself has confirmed that they were in a relationship and planning to get married. Then again, it doesn't surprise me that a website aligned to Mir Hossein Mousavi and his "Green Movement" would be hostile to anyone who has the temerity to visit the Israel, let us not forget that Mousavi himself was Prime Minister of Iran whilst the IRGC was actively helping the Hezbollah Islamic Fundamentalists in their war against Israel and was involved in the bombing of the US Embassy in Lebanon. If that isn't enough proof for you, there's also the fact that he called Israel a cancerous tumour, whilst in office. It therefore doesn't come as much of a surprise that Islamic Republic "reformists", still loyal to the theocratic system, would attack Makan.

The other charge is that by visiting Israel, Makan is harming the "opposition" movement, and giving ammunition to those that claim that Iran's protesters are all Americanised lackeys. Given that for quite some time Iranians have been shouting, "Not for Palestine, not for Lebanon, only for Iran do I give my life", we can see that a lot of Iranians are not the raving anti-Zionists that Ahmadinejad would have you believe. Iranians have a lot of problems to deal with in Iran, hating on Israel is really quite low down on the list of priorities at the moment. In addition, the Islamic Republic already blames the current unrest on foreign powers, so whether or not Makan makes a visit to Israel, the Iranian opposition will still be accused of being foreign stooges. It's an entirely illogical point for the Green movement's media to make.

Anyway, if the Iranian opposition movement is so weak and Ahmadinejad-esque that it feels "harmed" by someone going on a goodwill visit to the Middle East's only democracy, then it's a rotten, bigoted opposition movement anyway and not one I have any interest in supporting as it's on the same level as Ahmadinejad and his vile rhetoric. Where is Rahe Sabz's outrage at the Turkish Prime Minister's recent visit to Iran, after he denied the Armenian genocide? Rahe Sabz don't give a fig about the Palestinian people's rights, they're just toeing the Islamic Republic's anti-Semitic line.

At least PressTV maintain a consistent line, they've always been thuggish anti-Semites, however when the self proclaimed free thinkers of the Green movement round on a man and assasinate his character simply for going against what the Islamic Republic's fanatical supporters believe in, I believe that is wrong and just the sort of hypocrisy which makes me view the Green Movement's leaders and media with distaste.

I myself have no problem with Makan visiting Israel, any message of peace and goodwill is long overdue in my opinion. The Islamic Republic for thirty years has engaged in terrorism and hatred, and much worse has declared that it has done so in the name of Iran's people, who by and large are not the intolerant fanatics that the regime paints them out to be. Caspian Makan is simply shouting "this is not in my name". I for one support him.


more from Observing_Iran

Makan's Critiques Share Responsibility

by Qajar1 on

Even though I oppose Israel’s genocidal policies towards the Palestinians, I do however believe Caspian Makan has every right as an Iranian to travel and live safely in any part of the world he desires. If the leaders and supporters of the Green Movement think that Makan’s trip is ill-timed and inappropriate they should think again. They need to listen to the message of the Iranian people calling for peace and humaneness. The Islamic regime in Iran has lost any legitimacy to tarnish the humanitarian activates of Makan or any other Iranian. His trip to Israel is a demonstrative gesture of peace and civility in opposing Ahmadinejad’s hate rhetoric.  Criticiques opposing Makan’s trip to Israel share with Ahmadinejad hate sentiments of Jews and Israel. Such sentiments in today’s world are condemnable and shameful....Toe Kaz Mehnat Digaran bi Ghami  Nashayad Keh Naamat Nahand Aadami

David ET

Well put Paula

by David ET on

Thank you

ناتور دشت

You are a very talented artist, Ms. Slater

by ناتور دشت on

I just visited your site, enjoying your beautiful works. Does it really qualify me to express my thoughts about sculpturing? Some would say yes, some would say no.

I, personally, prefer not to make a fool out of myself.

Paula B. Slater

Caspian's right to speak out

by Paula B. Slater on

I believe Caspian has earned the right to speak out to anyone who will listen. The Iranian dictatorship took everything from him; they murdered the love of his life, they imprisoned him, tortured him, took thousands of his photographs which he was using to write a book about his beloved country Iran, he lost his home, his family, his country, his health has suffered and his life has been threatened. But yet he speaks out for the Iranian people, for the human rights abuses they have suffered. Through tears of his own personal loss, he bravely speaks out! So don’t let anyone tell you lies about his motives or try to confuse you with propaganda that makes you lose focus or forget all the young Iranian people who have given their lives in the fight for freedom.

Caspian went to Israel on a peaceful mission to spread the word about what Neda thought and stood for, just as he has traveled to several other countries to speak out about Neda and the plight of the Iranian people. The Iranian government will try to use this trip as a wedge to divide the Iranian people and green movement as they always do. Remember, they will use any means, any gossip, any lies to take the focus off of their murdering, torturing, raping and imprisonment of their own Iranian people. Don’t be fooled. Stay resolute in what you know, that the Iranian dictators have lied and murdered, and raped and oppressed its own people. Don’t lose that focus.

Please don’t fall for this bait and switch game that the Iranian dictators play. This isn’t about Iran versus Israel, it is about the Iranian people and the green freedom movement against their own cruel oppressive government, only then will Neda, Sohrab and all the other freedom fighters who have suffered torture, imprisonment and death have not been in vain.

(To be clear, I think Palistine should be its own independent state and Israel should NOT be building more settlements in disputed areas. But, the Isreali people are not the enemy of Iran, they are praying for the success of the green movement in Iran.)


bbc interview with caspian makan

by humanbeing on

my biggest regret is that i am too old to learn new languages properly. thus, i would be grateful for a summary of what caspian makan said in this bbc interview. even just the gist of it. with thanks in advance.

David ET

BBC's interview with Makan after visiting Israel

by David ET on


Dear HHH

by Observing_Iran on

I live in the UK, I write in "British English" ;)



Independence, Freedom, Iranian Republic


استقلال، آزادی، جمهوری ایرانی



another perspective

by humanbeing on

i did not read the blog of nasih in detail or the email letters between her and hoda. i was not ‘there’ with caspian and neda in their private moments. it is none of my business, or anyone else’s. my heart goes out to the parents and family of neda, and to the iranian people. the only place where i was an eyewitness was at caspian makan’s visit to the student union at the university in jerusalem. this visit was held WITHOUT FANFARE, NO PRESS, was NOT a photo op for anyone. it was a mutual human reaching out. the hall was packed, there were orthodox jews, seculars, righties, lefties, members of the palestinian groups with their internal varieties, students from the iranian studies dept. who wanted to practice their persian in the questions and answers, homesick expats, and all kinds of people. caspian looked broken, but spoke with care and tact. he was harshly challenged by a palestinian student who compared caspian’s experiences and those of others in evin to the israeli jail, although he himself never had jail experience anywhere. there was a heated, but open debate. others said touching things and difficult things. but people talked. although maybe a small part of the audience came out of curiosity (not to say voyeurism) about neda, most wanted to have a human engagement on a non-political level with someone from iran, and to be hospitable. makan himself talked about humanity and universal things, not about neda, and there was no hijacking of any personal story or posturing as a mouthpeice for a political or national movement. if anything, the students who attended this meeting were jarred from their complacency, and maybe such encounters will turn them into more active promoters of change in the troubled situation here.



by HHH on

Most people write Defense like yard fence :)

fiancee not fiance, again most people write fiancee like finance 

Americanized not americanised



I do not support him 1 bit Respect is more precious than playing

by Anonymouse on

Everything is sacred.

David ET

دست پاچه

David ET

خوب اسرائیل  هم رفت. به کوری چشم رژیم. اونجا هم یک کشوره. از اسرائیل هم این رژیم دشمن ساخته. اگر میموند خونه ، خفه میشود خوب بود؟ چرا چون رفت اسرائیل بعضی  از رفرمیست ها دست پاچه شدند؟ همش میخوان خودشون رو  به این رژیم ثابت کنند. مثل  این که رژیم براش  فرقی میکنه که چی بگه، 


I agree

by cyclicforward on

It is in green interest not to start any feud with Israel. In any case Palestinians in Israel are getting better treatment than Iranians in their own country.