According to reports, amidst the catastrophic deterioration of the country’s economic situation; the freefall of the Rial (Iranian currency) against foreign currencies (e.g. an exchange rate of more than 11,000 thousand Tomans to the USD, reached this week); increasing costs of basic consumer goods; and shortages of water, electricity, and basic commodities that are used daily by the general public, once again the popular protests have erupted in cities across the country.
In recent days, the people, fed up with the situation in Isfahan and Gohardasht in Karaj, came out onto the streets in protest against inflation and severe economic conditions, and to express their demands. The peaceful protesters were confronted by the repressive security, police and repressive organs of the theocratic regime.
A group of workers, drivers and shop workers specialising in the sale of automobile and truck parts in the Amir Kabir Industrial Park in Isfahan, joined the protest demonstration there. According to reports from news agencies and social networks, a number of workers, artisans and market holders in Isfahan marched towards the city centre on Tuesday 31 July in protest at the high costs and the catastrophic economic situation, and other people joined them along the route.
The images and videos posted on social networks revealed the heavy and widespread presence of riot police and security forces around the Amir Kabir Industrial Park and New Shapur Street. In the wake of the protests in Isfahan, the media also released numerous reports of a major protest rally in Gohardasht, Karaj, and their slogans protesting the high prices and inflation. The people chanted: “Sky-high prices, Inflation, is a plague on people’s lives,” and “Guns and bullets no longer frighten us! We want the clerical regime to get lost.” According to the many reports, riot police – using tear-gas while ordering merciless attacks by the regime’s plain clothed thugs – tried to crush and disperse the protesters.
We have also witnessed intensified pressure on political prisoners – especially trade union activists, and human rights and environmental campaigners – in the last few weeks, as well as the outrageous repressive long-term sentences imposed on the university student movement activists arrested during the protests of January 2018.
The situation in the country resembles that of a gunpowder keg which, with the ongoing economic pressures and repressive, reactionary and anti-people policies of the regime, has its fuse trail moving ever closer towards a massive social explosion. The fact is that since the demonstrations of hundreds of thousands of our compatriots in 80 cities across the country in late December and early January 2018, there has not been a single day or a week in which people fed up with the situation in the country did not raise their voices of protest against the continued malicious and anti-popular policies of the theocratic regime.
The increasing number of labour protests in various cities in connection with economic corruption, unemployment, non-payment of due-wages and lack of job security, as well as the angry clashes involving people in the southern cities of the country due to the poor quality and shortage of daily drinking water and power cuts, all indicate the lack of attention and neglect towards people’s difficulties – while demands by the leadership of the theocratic regime show their insistence on continuing the same anti-national and anti-people policies that have put our homeland in such a terrible situation today.
Today, it is crystal clear for the overwhelming majority of our people that direct responsibility for the poverty, misery and unprecedented deprivation of tens of millions of Iranians; the corruption that has been institutionalised in all pillars of the government that is unprecedented in the contemporary history of our country; and the imposition of current the repressive socio-political conditions on people’s lives, all lays with the theocratic regime.
Today’s rulers, instead of simply reverting to the destructive policies that have devastated the country up to now, have been desperately attempting to conduct secretive negotiations with the US government, the Bin Salman regime in Saudi Arabia and the Israeli government in order to overcome external pressures, the current crisis and further continue their anti-people rule.
The fact is that the disunity and lack of linkage between the protest actions of the people and the workers prevents their necessary influence on the current developments. Given the experiences of the people’s protests in January 2018 in 80 cities across the country, it must be realised that without the coordination and cooperation of social groups and progressive and democratic forces, we will not be able to force a retreat from the theocratic regime signalling a real change.
In our view, the time has come for all of us to intensify our efforts in order to help strengthen the influence of the people’s protest movement, through the taking of concrete and practical steps towards closer and more effective cooperation and, most importantly, the establishment of a united front against the tyrannical regime. All the evidence, based on the positions of the peace-loving, freedom-seeking and democratic forces of the country, suggest that we have important shared views and objectives that can play an important role in the struggle of the hard-oppressed people of our country.
The Tudeh Party of Iran
1st August 2018