The theocratic regime of Velayat-e Faqih [in Iran] took a dangerous step in escalating the crisis created after the assassination of Qasem Soleimani and his companions, potentially dragging Iran into a devastating war, through its missile attack on two United States military bases in Iraq (in al-Anbar and Erbil). It should be noted that Donald Trump, the right-wing and racist President of the US, over the preceding days had crudely warned of a disproportionate military reaction to any retaliatory action taken by the Iranian regime in the context of the assassination of Soleimani, and had threatened that the US was ready to severely attack 52 strategic targets in Iran, including a number of cultural sites. The [Islamic Republic’s] response with ballistic missiles and the announcement that these attacks were launched from inside Iran’s territory, give very dangerous dimensions to this [latest] misadventure by the regime.
A close examination of the statements issued by the IRGC, the position taken by Mohammad Javad Zarif [Iranian FM], and today’s speech by Ali Khamenei [the Supreme Leader] suggests that the regime [gambled] that the US would not react to these missile attacks, thus leaving open to the regime – after all its threats to take a “harsh revenge” on the US and to “slap them hard” – the path for subsequent negotiations with them [the US]. In his speech today [8 January], Khamenei said, “An important incident has happened. The issue of retaliation is something else. Now they have been slapped. This is another issue. Military actions like this are not adequate for this matter. The harmful presence of the US in the region should be ended.”
In a message published today on the official Facebook page of the Iraqi [Acting Interim] Prime Minister, Adel Abdul Mahdi, it was stated that Tehran had pre-informed Baghdad of its [missile] attack. In the message, which bore the signature of his spokesman, it was stated that the Iraqi government had received an official verbal message from the Islamic Republic of Iran warning that the “response to the assassination of Qasem Soleimani” had started or will start. This message also stated – quoting the regime – that the attack on the positions of the US forces in Iraq “will be limited.”
Based on the assessments of Iran’s missile strikes by military experts – which were broadcast on CNN, the U.S. news channel – it was stated, “If the aim of Iran’s missile attacks was to strike American forces, this attack does not seem rational, but if the goal of this attack was to implement Ali Khamenei’s orders about punishing the United States for the murder of Qasem Soleimani, then it seems very reasonable.” According to ILNA, quoting the CNN website, a US military official said that their forces had received a warning before the Islamic Republic’s missile attacks. The US official said that the army had received a warning to set off the assault threat alarm and, therefore, the forces [at the base] were able to take to their shelters.
Dear fellow Iranians!
In a statement that our Party released after the assassination of Qasem Soleimani, it was stated that while we condemn the terrorist act of the Trump administration – which indicates its complete and criminal disregard for international law – we believe that all efforts must be taken in order to prevent the escalation of a crisis in the region and the driving of tensions towards dangerous military conflicts. We also stressed that war and military conflicts in the Middle East will only benefit the most reactionary and anti-people forces in the region and across the world and would be against the interests of our nation and working people.
Historical experience proves that many of the destructive conflicts in the world have started because of imprudent and provocative policies of this sort. The greatest threat to our homeland and the region is [posed by the fact] that neither the Islamic Republic’s leadership nor the President of the US, in making their final analysis, has ever considered – nor will they ever take into consideration – the interests of the people of the region as well as their own nation.
The Tudeh Party of Iran once again calls on all the progressive, freedom-loving, and peace-loving forces of Iran, the region, and across the world to make every effort to avoid the escalation of tensions and dangerous military conflicts in the region.
“Limited military conflicts” not only will fail to lead to de-escalation of tensions but could undoubtedly lay the ground for devastating military conflicts that would certainly be catastrophic for our homeland and the region. The experience of the two US military attacks on Iraq and the tragedy that the people of that country have faced in the past two decades is a clear indication of that which could await our homeland today. We emphasise once again that we should not allow the reactionary and anti-people leaders of the ruling regimes in Iran and the US to drag the Middle East region into fire and blood with the crisis of another war. Striving to maintain peace and to prevent the start of a devastating war is of urgent and utmost importance in the current situation, for defending the interests of the Iranian working people and nation.
Central Committee of the Tudeh Party of Iran
January 8, 2020