The statement of the Tudeh Party of Iran: The Tudeh Party of Iran strongly condemns the Iranian regime’s brutal response to the widespread protests of the people against the hiking of the price of petrol

The High Council of Economic Coordination of the heads of the three power branches in the Islamic Republic of Iran have taken the step to ration gasoline in the country. As such, the price of rationed gasoline was increased [by 50%] to 1,500 Tomans (about $0.80) and the rate of every liter of “free-market” gasoline was announced at 3,000 Tomans. Each liter of super gasoline is now 3,500 Tomans. In connection with this decision of government – that took effect on November 15 – President Hassan Rouhani said, “The aim of this measure is to help 18 to 19 million households and a population of about 60 million of low-income people.”

The three-fold increase in the price of gasoline [against the backdrop of] the current dire economic situation, shortcomings, and back-breaking high prices, definitely cannot be a measure to support the majority of the people (75  per cent of population) living in poverty and particularly the workers and peasants with earnings and wages more than five times below the poverty line. Furthermore, among other consequences of this increase in gasoline prices is the increase in the price of food products, public transport fares and all the daily necessities of families. As an additional measure to the price hikes, and in fear of the response of the despairing people, the theocratic regime of Iran dispatched and deployed the police and anti-riot forces widely across the country only hours after the announced increase in order to counter and crush any popular outcry that followed.

According to the latest reports, in dozens of cities across Iran – including Tehran, Mashhad, Shiraz, Behbahan, Gorgan, Ahvaz, Khorramshahr, Kerman, Karaj, Marand, Fardis, and Tabriz – the people came to the streets to protest the price hikes, as well as the destructive policies of the regime, and were faced with the violent raids of the regime’s mercenaries. In Behbahan the protesters chanted, “Gasoline is now more expensive, the poor are poorer.” In published footage of the protests in Mashhad, the demonstrating people chanted slogans against Hassan Rouhani and other heads of the regime and shouted, “Shame on you Rouhani, leave the country alone” and “Shame on you dictator, leave the country alone.” A slogan chanted and repeated in many cities amongst the demonstrators, and a clear testament to the general living condition of the people, was, “We are tired of this”.

According to the latest reports published in the media and across social networks, four demonstrators were killed as a result of the brutal assault of the regime’s security forces in Behbahan in Khuzestan province. In addition, news of the killing of one of the protesters in Sirjan was confirmed by the city’s governor. The killing of one of the protesters in Marivan has also been reported. According to these same reports, the regime has shut down several of communication lines in the country, including the mobile network and home internet access in many areas, so as to block the spread of protest news.

Under the rule of the Islamist regime in Iran, the price of every liter of gasoline has increased 30-fold over the past twelve years. In 2007 the gasoline price was 100 Tomans per liter and now it has increased to 3000 Tomans per liter. The government of Hassan Rouhani had started preparing the ground for a gasoline price increase several months ago, but fear of the response and protests of the people had delayed its implementation. The experience of the recent decades underline the fact that the macro-economic policies of the Islamist regime (or Islamic Republic), which are dictated by the Supreme Leader to other organs of the state, have no consequences other than the destruction of the manufacturing infrastructure and many production plants, and the driving of millions of people under the poverty line and into deprivation. The tyranny and oppression of the current regime and its [blatant] disregard for the people’s demands, has worsened the livelihood and survival of the people of Iran day by day.

While defending the righteous and civil protests of the distressed people of our homeland, the Tudeh Party of Iran condemns in the strongest terms the brutal assault of the armed mercenaries of the regime on the protesting people and calls on all progressive forces of Iran and the world to raise their voice against these policies of the regime and demand a stop to the wave of repression in the country. The malicious policies of the regime, the plunder of national resources – including looting and plunder of tens of billions in dollar revenue of the country by the leaders of the Islamist regime, the leadership of the IRGC and the Basij and other repressive forces – as well as the adventurist and imprudent policies of the regime in the region, along with the anti-human sanctions of the USA, are among the main reasons for the current economic crisis in our homeland. Only by coordinated confrontation and struggle against these destructive policies of the regime can the ruling despots be forced to retreat.

 The Tudeh Party of Iran

16 November 2019



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