AFP: An Iranian killed in protests over President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's reelection in June was willing to be "shot in the heart" for her cause, her boyfriend said in an interview Sunday. LONDON (AFP) — An Iranian killed in protests over President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's reelection in June was willing to be "shot in the heart" for her cause, her boyfriend said in an interview Sunday.
The killing of Neda Agha-Soltan on June 20 came to symbolise the public uprising against Ahmadinejad's victory earlier that month in presidential elections against Mir Hossein Mousavi which the opposition says were rigged.
A graphic Internet video of her bleeding to death was seen around the world and triggered an outcry over the sometimes brutal crackdown on demonstrators.
Her boyfriend Caspian Makan — who was jailed in Iran following her death but is now reportedly in hiding in an unidentified Middle Eastern city — told the Observer that Neda was committed to helping overthrow Ahmadinejad.
"Neda was present at the front line of the protests from the very first day," Makan said in comments quoted by the paper.
"She was a natural leader and attracted many (protestors) to her side. I think that is why she was shot.
"The Iranian state and its security officials did not want her, they wanted to extinguish her."
He also recalled her saying: "If I get shot in the heart or arrested, it's not important because we are all responsible for our future."
In another interview, Makan told the BBC that he had been worried about her getting involved in the protest. She apparently told him: "Even if we'd had a child, I'd carry my child to these demos on my back.
"That's when I realised I couldn't prevent her from going… she was only thinking of her goal — democracy and freedom for Iranians."
Some Iranian hardliners claim Neda's killing was staged to damage Ahmadinejad's government and seek to divert the blame from Islamist vigilantes cracking down on protestors.