Tudeh News May/Jun 2016 – No. 291
- THE 1000TH ISSUE OF NAMEH MARDOM WAS PUBLISHED – THE STRUGGLE AGAINST DICTATORSHIP CONTINUES (Abridged from “Nameh Mardom”, Central Organ of the Tudeh Party of Iran No. 1000, May 30, 2016)
- THE WHIP OF TYRANNY AND REACTION IS FELT ONCE MORE UPON THE BACK OF THE WORKING PEOPLE AND YOUTH – (From “Nameh Mardom”, Central Organ of the Tudeh Party of Iran No. 1001, June 13, 2016)
- WORKING PEOPLE CHALLENGES AND STRUGGLES (Excerpts from “Nameh Mardom”, Central Organ of the Tudeh Party of Iran No. 1001, June 13, 2016)
- Economic Policies: the Root Cause of Poverty and Gender Discrimination in Iran
Publication of the 1000th issue of Nameh Mardom (bi-weekly central organ of Central Committee of Tudeh Party of Iran) is an appropriate occasion to appraise certain aspects of the work of this publication in relation to the key developments in Iran and worldwide.
Nameh Mardom is amongst the few Iranian publications that presented a comprehensive notion about the nature of Iran’s theocratic regime, and on this basis our party has been able to analyse the internal changes within the regime’s power structure and in relation to the external factors. Nameh Mardom’s analytical approach has been based on ‘class conscious politics’ by considering the interests of the strata connected to production by means of manual or intellectual labour, i.e. the Iranian working class and peasantry.
The articles published in Nameh Mardom have consistently stressed the fact that the absolute rule of the ‘Supreme spiritual Leader’ [theocracy] is the key deciding factor in defining the nature and key characters of Iran’s ruling regime. Any attempts to modify the existing political superstructure in order to curb the influence of this theocratic absolute rule, will either be physically crushed or subverted through machinations of the Supreme Leader in collaboration with the powerful political factions within the ruling circles, to safeguard the survival of the system. Experience shows that the large scale interests of the upper layers of bourgeoisie that is represented by the political factions within the ruling regime also work to maintain the existing ‘political economy’ and guarantee the continuation of neoliberal economic restructuring, all of which are obstructing the path of ‘real changes’ for democratisation.
Feature articles, editorials, and analytical articles in Nameh Mardom have been based on a Marxist understanding of ‘political economy’. They systematically analyse the dynamics of the regime’s factional interactions by highlighting the importance of organic relationship between democratic changes and social justice.
Since September 2013, a series of analysis and reports in Nameh Mardom have identified major swings within the US policies towards the Middle East, describing them as ‘reconfiguration of US administration policies’ towards Iran’s theocratic regime. The analysis of our party’s organ have reached the conclusion that Iran is facing an imperialist supper power and the negotiations between the regime and US for signing of the nuclear agreement have been conducted from a very weak economic position on Iran’s side, combined with Islamic Republic’s fragile international standing. This is because the financial sanctions imposed by the US treasury have effectively turned our country’s economy into a hostage in the hands of the US.
With the publication of the 1000th issue of Nameh Mardom, the Tudeh Party of Iran has confirmed that it is a strong, consistent, and deep rooted political force and that counter intelligence and media black propaganda tactics of the theocratic regime have not been, and will not be able to get rid of our party.
The struggle for democracy and social justice will continue. Using all its resources, our party in conjunction with other progressive social and political forces will work toward the realisation of ‘real changes’ for democratisation, social justice, and national sovereignty
TO THOSE PARTICIPATING IN THE NUIT DEBOUT (NIGHTS ON OUR FEET) PROTESTS:
THE TUDEH PARTY OF IRAN STANDS IN SOLIDARITY WITH YOUR STRUGGLE FOR A FUTURE OF PEACE, HUMAN AND DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS AND SOCIAL JUSTICE
May 22, 2016
Dear comrades and friends,
We salute your courageous struggle, which has captured the imagination of people not only in France but in the whole of Europe and beyond. The youth and those campaigning for change in Iran are also following the development of your protest. Your struggle continues in the footsteps of recent campaigns – in Greece against the Troika, the Indignados movement in Spain and the Occupy movements in New York, London and Frankfurt opposing the rule of banks and bankers in the ongoing crisis of capitalism since 2008.
On Sunday 15 May, campaigners from all over Europe are converging in Paris, in the Place de la Republique to highlight the international dimensions of your struggle. The Tudeh Party of Iran supports this global day of action which sends a clear message of defiance to the rulers of Europe. Your magnificent protest against enforced austerity, your condemnation of neoliberal policies employed to force the demise of trade unionism and privatise the health and education systems is our protest too.
It is clear that the policy-makers in key global capitalist institutions have tried to shift the burden of the systemic crisis of capitalism onto the shoulders of workers and the poor. Neoliberal policies dominate Europe and North America. Inequality has become more institutionalised in the capitalist countries. States are employing every tactic to crush people’s resistance.
War and militarism have always been used to shift the burden of crisis onto other countries and this danger is great. Today the Middle East is going through the most perilous chapter of its history. War, occupation and the terrorism of DAESH (ISIS) have disfigured the face of the region. The Middle East is the focus of carefully orchestrated attempts by US-led world imperialism to consolidate its hegemony and to ensure unrivalled control of the flow of oil, the ability to freely plunder the region’s resources and to exploit its markets. Rightwing and reactionary forces in the Middle East, backed by the US/ EU, are working to ensure that no substantial challenge ever upsets the US “New Middle East Plan”. They have been able to dictate the course of events in the region by engineering crisis, wars and conflict. Syria, Iraq and Yemen are burning. Libya has been reduced to a place where tribes vie for power and Islamic terror rules.
Since their January agreement with Iran, the EU and US are trying to prove that the theocratic regime in Iran is a partner that they can do business with. This is a regime that not only violates at will all accepted international norms of behaviour but imprisons innocent trade unionists and journalists, systematically discriminates against women and has removed the rights of youth. By abolishing all tenets of democratic governance the regime has ruined the economy. Neoliberal economic policies have meant sky high inflation, soaring unemployment, attacks on human and labour rights and privatisation of the economy. The medieval dictatorship has sacrificed the human, natural and strategic potential of the country for the sake of its brutal and damaging rule. However, since 2013, the US has pursued a policy of detente with the theocratic regime of Iran, the main outcomes of which will be the perpetuation of theocratic dictatorship in Iran and its ‘constructive’ role in the implementation of the US “New Middle East” plan.
Our struggles are connected. We both campaign to regain control over our social and economic lives and oppose neoliberal policies. In pledging solidarity with your struggle, we also extend and defend our own struggle for peace, democracy, and social justice.
Long live International Solidarity!
THE WHIP OF TYRANNY AND REACTION IS FELT ONCE MORE UPON THE BACK OF THE WORKING PEOPLE AND YOUTH
(From “Nameh Mardom”, Central Organ of the Tudeh Party of Iran No. 1001, June 13, 2016)
According to the shocking media reports, the tyrannical authorities of the Judiciary system of Iran’s theocratic regime in one incident sentenced the “Agh Darreh” gold miners for the crime of protesting against their employer, and in another incident, sentenced the students of Qazvin University for organising a private graduation party to tens of lashes of the whip. They executed these inhumane sentences and bruised the bodies of these people. Defending this shocking and medieval action, Mohseni Ejei, the spokesman of the judiciary system, stated that the sentences were in accordance with the judicial procedures of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Then, in response to a question from the ILNA (Iranian Labour News Agency) as to why in recent months the judiciary power has entered into the domain of labour issues and disputes between workers and employers, Ejei said: “I absolutely reject that we have acted in favour of the employer in this labour dispute, as in fact we have repeatedly called upon the Ministry of Labour and other government agencies to intervene on behalf of the workers!”
He added: “In this regard, to the extent that these protests by these people do not lead to issues affecting security issues or the damaging the property, and also to the extent that there isn’t a private complainant, we ask the Ministry of Labour to resolve these disputes so as they do not escalate into criminal acts.”
Tudeh Party of Iran, condemns the inhumane actions of the Judiciary system of the theocratic regime of Iran and believes that these actions allow economic plunders and bandits linked to the “Guards Corps” and those violating the people’s rights to enjoy the protection of the Judiciary and clearly demonstrate the deeply reactionary and anti-people nature of the regime whose continued rule means further aggression and brutal suppression of the rights and freedoms of the people.
In addition to the student organisations, a large number of social activists and workers have protested against these punishments. The Union of Metalworkers and Mechanics of Iran, for example, wrote: “In the past three years we have repeatedly stated that employers will use every tactic and trick in the hat to eliminate labour activists…. With the whipping of the miners of the Takab mine and the subsequent false apology of the Minister of Labour, once again the workers of the Bafgh iron ore mine and also bloggers were sentenced to flogging, and thus the slave masters are in control of the bloggers’ pen as well as the miners’ hands/tools.
Furthermore, of major significance on the labour front, “ARJ home appliance manufacturing Company”, the oldest in its kind in the domestic industry, has ceased production. Being the result of the regime’s economic policy, this will in turn lead to the massive layoffs of workers, the selling off of the factory to foreign capital. This is the so-called ‘Resistance Economy’ that the regime has bragged about.”
The continuation of the theocratic regime’s socio-economic crisis, essentially the by-product of the continued neoliberal economic policies over the past decade, as well as the intensification of the discontent of millions of people, especially workers who live in very difficult conditions of poverty and deprivation, is driving our society towards new predicaments and social tensions. The intensification of the atmosphere of repression that prevails in the country is in fact intended to stifle the widespread resentment of the people against the continued rule of reaction, something that the leaders of the regime have confessed to in recent days.
We must pave the path of the nationwide protest movement on the basis of the existing possibilities in the society through mobilising the social movements and united action, with a focus on organising the hitherto fragmented popular protests. A powerful and all-embracing people’s movement cannot emerge by itself or spontaneously. In the current critical situation, the patriotic and democratic forces can play a historical role by interacting with each other and agreeing on a minimum program in the pursuit of freedom and justice.
WORKING PEOPLE CHALLENGES AND STRUGGLES
(Excerpts from “Nameh Mardom”, Central Organ of the Tudeh Party of Iran No. 1001, June 13, 2016)
Economic Policies: the Root Cause of Poverty and Gender Discrimination in Iran
One of the mostly neglected issues in Iran is the alarming rise of poverty among the Iranian women, and particularly female workers and heads of families, as a result of the economic “liberation” (elimination of subsidies) in recent years. The vice-President responsible for the women and families matters had said: “unbalance development and domestic migration has expanded slums on the margins of the cities to more than 10 million people, which is alarming… part of them are women who are the victims of this uneven development.” These marginalized women have moved to these areas due to the pressure of poverty in villages or being laid off from the factories in large cities. A large percentage of these women are the head of their families.
According to the official statistics, there are more than 2.5 million women Iran who are the heads of the families, majority of them living under the line of poverty. According to the vice-President, “the decline in the presence of the women in the job market, and the undue increase of the well educated women who don’t have a job, is one of the challenges of women and families.” In Iran, the unemployment among women is twice that of men, and for equal work, women are paid less than what men are paid. Working women are the first to be laid off, and have much less job security. According to the official statistics, women comprise 5 to 8% of the workforce, which shows the extent of discrimination in job selection and “legal” restrictions for women in choosing jobs, due to the medieval viewpoints of the ruling regime about the life and work of working women. Based on the official statistics from the Ministry of Labour and the Statistical Centre of Iran, “working women are paid less than the legal wages approved by the High Commission of Labour… The women who are the heads of their families are forced to sign blank and temporary contracts.”
What has led to the rise of poverty and discrimination among women and working women, and marginalized women in particular, is both the reactionary and misogynist viewpoints and the socio-economic policies of the Iranian theocratic regime. Fighting these damaging views and policies is part of the struggle for equal rights and abolition of gender discrimination against women.
Fighting Temporary Contracts
With the ongoing pursuit of “liberation” policies in economy in Iran, we have witnessed the shut-down of tens of factories and industries, and unemployment of thousands of workers. The theocratic regime of Iran strives to bring in imperialist capitals in order to get out of the current economic crisis, and believes that to achieve this goal, it should continue with privatization, deregulating prices and wages, and eliminating or watering down the Labour Law which destroys the job security of the workers.
Recently, the deputy Minister of Labour praised the “benefits of the free economy” and said: “to realize the [so-called] Resistance Economy [commanded by the Supreme Leader]… true privatization must happen in the country.” And the President reiterated that “the government must leave the affairs to the people [i.e. capitalists] and stay away from it.” The Iranian regime viciously suppresses the labour protests, and by privatizing the national assets and imposing temporary contracts, daily contracts, and blank contracts on workers, creates the conditions for the most brutal exploitation of workers. While the independent labour organizations are under tremendous pressure of security forces, the ruling reactionaries portray the catastrophic condition of workers as inevitable. Workers’ wages are unpaid for months. Because of their unfair contracts, workers are paid even less than the minimum wage. The workers in the “Special Commercial” zones are not evn covered by the Labour Law.
As a result of the detrimental policies of economic “liberation” [deregulation], and particularly the elimination of the subsidies, “from about 3,200 industrial units in Paakdasht, about 700 units are working at 30% capacity and the rest have closed down”, admitted the secretary of the House of Labour in Paakdasht. Various components of the “free economy”, i.e. plundering the national assets under the name of privatization, deregulation in work environments and labour relations, deregulating the prices, elimination of subsidies, and now the regime’s attempt to deregulate wages and get rid of the Labour Law, have all led to poverty and misery of workers, ruined the job security, and destroyed the national production. The only way to change this dire situation is to advance a united and relentless fight against the economic policies of the Iranian regime and tying it to the immediate demands of the workers, such as job security and decent wages.