CBS News Anchor Katie Couric interviewed Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad hours before his planned address to the UN on Wednesday evening. Ahmadinejad spoke on various issues including “his crackdown on election protesters.”
When Couric asked a question about Neda and her death, Ahmadinejad changed the subject.
Ahmadinejad on July 16 in a letter called on the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki Moon to investigate the killing of Egyptian veiled lady Marwa el-Sherbini who was stabbed to death in a German courtroom. Iran issued a commemorative set of stamps (it is said only about 1000 sets were printed) to honor her “martyrdom.”
Many Iranian criticized the government for honoring an Egyptian martyr while simultaneously denouncing victims of its own repression like Neda Agha Soltan.
Read more for excerpts from Katie Couric’s interview:
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Couric: During and after the presidential election, Mr. President, thousands of opposition supporters and journalists were arrested, badly beaten and tortured. Arrested, badly beaten and tortured. One woman – 27 year old Neda as you know, was shot to death while protesting. Her death was captured on a cell phone camera. Here is a shot of that cell phone picture which I’m sure you’ve seen.
Couric: What would you say to her family?
Ahmadinejad: We are – very sorry that one of our fellow citizens has been killed. As a victim of an – agitation of circumstance. An agitation that was carried out with the support of some American politicians, the voice of America, and the BBC.
Couric: Do you really think so little of your citizens that they can be manipulated and brainwashed by Americans and the UK?
Ahmadinejad: No. That is not what I’m saying. But I do say that some agitations from outside were there. I mean, there are plenty of documents pointing to that. Regrettably, one of our citizens lost her life–
The president then produced a photograph of an Egyptian woman – Marwa el-Sherbini – who was brutally murdered inside a German courtroom while taking part in a trial over the right to wear a hijab – or headscarf. He suggested that the western media – who turned Neda into a martyr – ignored Marwa’s story.