Comrade Malakeh Mohammadi, a member of the Central Committee of the Tudeh Party of Iran and a heroic fighter whose almost century-long life was spent devoted to the struggle for the ideals of the working class, is no longer among us. Comrade Malakeh was born on 5 October 1922 in a working class family. Despite the very backward and underdeveloped conditions of our society at that time, with the passion and love that Comrade Malakeh had for education, she was able to obtain her high school diploma with the support of her mother before the end of Reza Shah’s reign in 1941.
The rise in political and social activism during those dynamic years of transition led the young Malakeh to delve into the changes of current in her homeland and it was on this journey that she became one of the regular members of the audience at the weekly discussion and debate meetings that the Party held at its main club. She soon realised that it would only be this activity on this path that could satisfy her young and passionate soul and inspire her in the life ahead. When Comrade Malakeh entered the University of Tehran, it was only around 10 years after its establishment. She studied at the University’s Faculty of Law. The number of women who were studying at the university at the time was very small. Comrade Malakeh successfully graduated with a PhD in the field of economics and the subject of her dissertation was “Agrarian Reforms”, – it remains one of the most valuable published papers on the topic [in Iran]. Comrade Malakeh, who by this point had become a member of the Party, has – over the 70 years since then – had a significant role and impact in the life and growth of our Party with her tireless efforts. Her research, analyses and articles on topics such as women, peasants, workers and other key issues of the day, which were authored with well-founded and deeply thought arguments, taught the readers of our Party’s educational publications the method for analysis of the future of the Shah regime’s policies, their implications and the ways of confronting them.
After the 1953 Coup [that toppled popular Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh], Comrade Malakeh Mohammadi continued her underground partisan activities in Iran under the toughest conditions and risk of prosecution by the then ruling military junta. During the raid and arrest of the Tudeh-affiliated military officers, she would tend to their families to help them solve their daily problems and to guide them – most of whom were ordinary people and far removed from political activities. She acted fearlessly in this effort… After the arrest and execution of national hero, Comrade [Khosrow] Roozbeh, she fled the country into exile on the instruction of the Party, six years on from the coup. Her brilliant and tireless activities in exile included writing for Mardom, the central organ of the Party; for Donya, the theoretical publication of the Party; and in writing and broadcasting for Peyk Iran Radio, covering a wide range of important issues such as those of peasants, women and labour.
Fighting for women’s rights was one of the main areas of Comrade Malakeh’s activities. In an article for Donya, on the occasion of 1975 being declared as the World’s Year of Women by the United Nations, she wrote about the importance of the struggle for the rights of women against the despotic monarchist regime in Iran. Comrade Malakeh wrote, “The struggle to solve the social problems related to women is undoubtedly one not separate from the struggle for social fundamental changes in the life of nations and states. Therefore, the Iranian women’s campaign for equality of rights is part of their campaign for freedom, national independence, and peace. In the present situation, the main obstacle to the women’s struggle to win their rights is the bloody dictatorship of the Shah… Women fight shoulder to shoulder with their brothers and husbands to break the fundamental barrier and open the way towards the wining of political freedoms… Billions of dollars of the nation’s revenue is spent by the Shah to buy weaponry, while the people are deprived of bread and clothing, schools, and physicians…”
Following the victory of the 1979 Revolution, Comrade Malakeh along with her husband, Comrade Mohammad Poorhormozan, and other leaders of the Party returned to the country to continue what she had left unfinished and to protect a revolution which was threatened with thousands of risks, large and small. During this new era of overt activity of the party, she was a member of the editorial boards of Nameh Mardom and Donya and a member of the Party’s Labour Committee and as well as a contributor to several publications such as Jarass (the Party’s publication for the peasant movement). During the Islamist regime’s second wave of attack on the Party on 27 April 1983, Comrade Malakeh was arrested along with a number of party cadres, including Comrades Ehsan Tabari, Javanshir, Bahram Danesh, Rahman Hatefi (Heidar Mehregan), Ahmad Danesh, Hossein Jodat, Anushirvan Ebrahimi, Hedayatollah Moallem, Hedayatollah Hatami, Mohsen Alavi, Ali Galavizh, Javad Arteshyar, Fatemeh Modarresi Tehrani (Simin Fardin).
Whilst imprisoned, Comrade Malakeh Mohammadi added yet another luminous leaf to the history of her lifelong struggle and its legacy. Staunch and proud, she refused to bow to the torturers of the theocratic regime and remained loyal to the Party and its ideals. It was crucial to the regime and reactionary forces to break Comrade Malakeh who stood out at the forefront of our Party’s struggle and was one of the brightest progressive Iranian women in the history of their struggle for equality and freedom. However, Comrade Malakeh’s courageous resistance continued right until her release from prison when she even refused to sign the pledging confirmation demanded by her torturers. Comrade Malakeh Mohammadi remained faithfully committed to the lofty aspirations and ideals of the Tudeh Party of Iran, the working class and prosperity for the people of her homeland – leaving a wealth of valuable political, theoretical and cultural work for future generations of combatants for the Iranian working class.
In her last will and testament, dated 11 May 2007, Comrade Malakeh Mohammadi writes:
“On my tombstone, only write: Malakeh Mohammadi, who lived with the love of the people.
There is no need for a memorial in a mosque, a hall gathering would suffice.”
And, at the end of the will she writes:
“I have been faithful, to the last moments of my life, to the Tudeh Party of Iran, Party of Roozbeh and Siamak […] and my guidance in life were the enchanted souls who had an oath with death.”
The Central Committee of the Tudeh Party of Iran expresses its condolences to all comrades, Party members and survivors of Comrade Malakeh Mohammadi. The valuable name and services of Comrade Malakeh Mohammadi will remain in the history of our Party’s struggle and the liberation movement of our homeland.
The Central Committee of the Tudeh Party of Iran
25 December 2019