Instead of denying that she ever existed, or that she was dead, they're 'hunting for her killer.' Not in so many words, of course:
"Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Monday called the death of Neda Agha-Soltan 'suspicious' and urged the country's authorities to identify those responsible for it, Iran's semi-official Fars news agency reported Monday...."The "massive propaganda of the foreign media" helped, I'm sure. But that video being viewed and spread around the world didn't help, either, from the ayatollahs' point of view.
"...But Iran has been pushing back against eyewitness reports that she was shot by pro-government Basij militiamen perched on a rooftop near a demonstration.
"Ahmadinejad told the head of Iran's judiciary, Ayatollah Hashemi Shahroudi, to probe the incident and make the results of his investigations public, Fars reported Monday, nine days after Agha-Soltan was killed.
" 'The massive propaganda of the foreign media, as well as other evidence, proves the interference of the enemies of the Iranian nation who want to take political advantage and darken the pure face of the Islamic republic, he said in a letter to Shahroudi, according to the news agency...." (CNN)
As for darkening "the pure face of the Islamic Republic," I'd say the ayatollahs and their enforcers have been doing a fine job of that, themselves: although that probably wasn't what they had in mind.
'Usual Suspect Syndrome' Ahead?I used (and possibly coined) the phrase "usual suspect syndrome" on the eve of President Obama's inauguration celebrations. 'Usual suspect syndrome' is having "... a collection of 'usual suspects' - people or organizations that are The Bad Guys. Any connection with them, no matter how slight or irrelevant, makes a person or organization one The Bad Guys, too." (January 19, 2009)
What sort of person or organization is on the 'usual suspects' list depends on the list-maker's preferred perception of reality. Organizations and groups of people often include Hamas, the CIA, foreigners, or right-wing extremists.
Judging from what Iran's state press is doing I think it's clear that, if they ever considered it, the ayatollahs have given up on making Neda a non-person who never existed: of denying her existence and/or her death.
With that video loose on the Internet, and the people who knew Neda being known themselves - along with their recollections of Neda Agha Soltan - simple denial wouldn't work. Making Neda's family, friends, and acquaintances disappear would have made the matter worse: they're known, and their disappearances would have been noted.
The ayatollahs have not given evidence that they're stupid. Demagogues using a particularly violent brand of Islam to instill hatred of their enemies, yes. Stupid, no.
I think it's quite possible that at least one person who says he's from a group that the ayatollahs don't like will confess. And, probably say that some combination of the great Satan America, Israel, and Britain made him do it.
And, after a trial, will be quickly executed. Which is probably better than the alternative he was offered.
- "Protesting Election Fraud is 'Waging War Against God' - Ayatollah Khatami"
(June 28, 2009)
- "Iran and an Embassy: It Worked So Well in 1979- - - "
(June 28, 2009)
- "Pray for Neda: And Learn About the Real Iran"
(June 26, 2009)
- "CIA Shot Neda: Old Story, New Names"
(June 26, 2009)
- "Ahmadinejad Urges Strong Defense for Roxana Saberi - 'Good Cop/Bad Cop'?"
(April 19, 2009)
- "ISNA, Hamas, Obama's Inaugural, and the Usual Suspects"
(January 19, 2009)
- "Ahmadi-Nejad orders probe into student's death"
Financial Times (June 29, 2009)
- "Ahmadinejad: Neda's death is 'suspicious' "
CNN (June 29, 2009)
- "President Ahmadinejad orders inquiry into 'suspicious' death of Neda"
TimesOnline (June 29, 2009)
- "Iran: 'New Revelations'" In Neda Shooting"
CBS News (June 29, 2009)
- "In Iran, confusion surrounds Neda's death"
Press TV (June 29, 2009) (backed by Iran's leaders)