Neda Agha Soltan, the young Iranian woman whose face became the international symbol of protest against Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, told her fiancé she was prepared to “take a bullet in the heart” in the fight against the president’s regime.
The revelation comes as her boyfriend speaks out for the first time after being imprisoned following Neda’s death last June, when she was shot by Iranian police at a demonstration in Tehran. Caspian Makan, a photographer, spent two months in prison for criticising the authorities after her death. In a moving interview, he told the Observer that far from being a bystander caught up in the demonstrations, she was committed to the overthrow of Ahmadinejad. As a result of her high-profile presence at the protests, he believes she was targeted by the regime loyalists who killed her.
Makan has fled Iran and given two in-depth interviews. His meeting with director Angus Macqueen, which is featured in today’s Observer Review, will appear in a BBC film about Neda. In both interviews she emerges as a markedly different figure to the young woman depicted at the time of her death.