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Iran ambassador suggests CIA could have killed Neda Agha-Soltan

June 25, 2009 |  6:44 pm
Mohammad Hassan Ghadiri Iran's ambassador to Mexico

Sometimes it seems Wolf Blitzer has interviewed pretty much every single person on the planet by now on CNN's "The Situation Room." Fact is, Wolfie is literally a stand-up interviewer and a real pro, even with people you don't know, because Wolf, it seems, knows everybody.

Newswise, everything is gonna be Michael Jackson-Farah Fawcett here for a while, which is a godsend for Gov. Mark Sanford while his meds take effect and VP Joe Biden can finally have his time-consuming private meetings, well, in private.

But it also means folks might overlook Wolf's incredible or incredulous chat today with Mohammad Hassan Ghadiri.

Now who, most people might ask, is MHG? Another nobody CNN scooped off the streets of Washington by CNN bookers to comment on something we didn't know we needed to know about? Well, no. He's the ambassador of Iran to Mexico.

Clearly, MHG was authorized by the Big Bearded Boys back home to say what he said here about the now globally iconic Neda Agha-Soltan, who in her vivid videotaped death has become a part of even American politics.

And MHG chose to speak in Persian so he would not make any career-ending -- or worse -- mistranslations. (NB: Eyewitnesses have said Neda was shot in the chest.)

So here it is, as The Ticket often does, in his own words: 

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Well, we're anxious to hear your government's response to all of these developments which have been very dramatic over the past two weeks.

A key question many people around the world are asking is, why did your security forces kill that 26-year-old beautiful student named Nada?

MOHAMMAD HASSAN GHADIRI, IRANIAN AMBASSADOR TO MEXICO: I prefer to answer this in Persian.Neda Agha Soltan

BLITZER: Go ahead.

GHADIRI (through interpreter): This death of Ms. Nada is very suspicious. She was shot from behind. The location was where there was not much demonstration, there was no police presence and the gun that shot and killed her was a smuggled gun. It was not a government-issued gun.

BLITZER: There have been others, though, that have been killed, as well.

GHADIRI (through interpreter): In our view, this would be the work of those who wanted to put more fuel to the flame against the government. 

I'll tell you what Mr. [Giulio] Andreotti, who was an Italian politician who was the prime minister of Italy.  Mr. Andreotti was talking about a terrorist group, the Gladiators, and CIA had found that. And therefore, the United States was for the Communists to come to power during the election. That's why they would terror-assassinate anti-Communist people and politicians and they would blame the Communists for that.

It's natural that the public opinion may believe that assassinated person like that was . . .

. . . an anti-terrorist, anti-Communist. The public opinion could be formed that the Communists had assassinated the terrorism. This is the thing that has been continued.

My question is that how is that this Nada was shot from behind and several cameras take that. And this is done in an area where there was no important demonstration. If the CIA wants to kill some people and attribute that to the elements of the government, and then choosing a girl would be something good for them because it would have much higher impact.

Therefore, we believe and we are looking into this to find who the elements were who did this.

BLITZER: Are you seriously accusing the CIA of killing Neda?

GHADIRI (through interpreter): We say that the bullet that was found in her head was not a bullet that you could find in Iran.

These are the bullets that the CIA and terrorist groups use. Of course they warned that there would be a bloodshed in these demonstrations and then they could attribute that to the Islamic Republic. This is part of a common act of CIA in various countries.

BLITZER: Do you really believe that, Mr. Ambassador?

You're a distinguished diplomat representing Iran. This is a very serious accusation that you're making, that the CIA was responsible for killing this beautiful, young woman.

GHADIRI (through interpreter): I'm not saying that the CIA had done this. There are different groups. Could be intelligence services, could be CIA, could be the terrorists.

However, these are the people who do these things. You could ask Mr. Andreotti, who was an Italian diplomat, whether Gladiators were a secret group related to CIA or not. Now they of course they use better methods. Of course, you're not going to say that CIA is a sacred organization that hasn't done anything to other worlds.

BLITZER: Mr. Ambassador, why won't your government allow people to go mourn at a memorial service for Nada, as her family has requested?

GHADIRI (through interpreter): We have no problem with mournings. Naturally we don't want to provide an opportunity for the rioters to come in and make the situation worse.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Top photo: Mohammad Hassan Ghadiri. Credit: Gustavo Aguado / Associated Press. Second photo: Neda Agha-Soltan. Credit: Associated Press.

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