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Trip To Israel By Neda's 'Fiance' Causes Controversy


Israeli President Shimon Peres meets with Caspian Makan in Jerusalem on March 22.

Israeli President Shimon Peres meets with Caspian Makan in Jerusalem on March 22.

The visit by an Iranian, Caspian Makan, who claims to be the fiance of Neda Agha Soltan, to Israel has been condemned by some Iranian bloggers and opposition members who believe the trip could damage the opposition movement.

Neda was shot dead on June 20 during a peaceful protest in Tehran following the disputed presidential vote a week before. Her last moments were caught on camera and watched by millions of people around the world, making her one of the icons of the opposition Green Movement.

Makan said in an interview right after Neda's death that they were due to get married. He said Neda was shot by members of the Basij militia.

He was later arrested and held in jail. He left Iran some time after he was released.

Makan, who traveled to Israel as a guest of Israel's Channel 2, met on March 22 with Israeli President Shimon Peres. He was quoted as saying that he'd come to Israel as "an ambassador of the Iranian people." He also said that "Neda's spirit and soul feels the sensitivity and warmth" he received in the meeting with Peres.

Masih Alinejad, an Iranian journalist based in Britain and a contributor to the "Jaras" opposition website, writes that while Makan claims he's Neda's fiance, Neda's sister has said that they had a brief relationship and that at the time of Neda's death some nine months ago they were not together anymore.

Alinejad believes Makan is using Neda's name to promote himself.

"This man is free to do whatever he wants under his name, but the disaster is that he's known in the world because of Neda's name, in the name of a girl whose family has no claim but he's claiming to represent Neda and sending Iran's message to the world," writes Alinejad in a piece titled "Caspian Wasn't Neda's Fiance."

Another blogger has described the trip as a gift for the Iranian regime, which has claimed that the opposition movement is being backed by foreign countries.

"I don't know when the Iranian people chose this gentleman as their ambassador and sent him to Israel," the blogger "Behnam Ghlipour" writes, adding that those "Iranians who fight for peace" don't need a country like Israel that "violates human rights in Gaza."

About This Blog

Persian Letters is a blog that offers a window into Iranian politics and society. Written primarily by Golnaz Esfandiari, Persian Letters brings you under-reported stories, insight and analysis, as well as guest Iranian bloggers -- from clerics, anarchists, feminists, Basij members, to bus drivers.

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