The broad Plenary Meeting of the Central Committee of the Tudeh Party of Iran was held in February 2020. In this meeting, the participants reviewed and discussed the report of the political bureau about the most important developments in Iran and the world since the previous meeting of the C.C. two years ago and ratified it with some amendments and complementary proposals.
In analysing the recent developments in Iran, the report reads: “Our assessment following the bloody crackdown on January 2018 was that although the regime has managed to temporarily survive the crisis, but the main grounds of discontent and popular protests, namely the damaging and anti-national policies, poverty and deprivation of tens of millions of Iranian family, persecution and oppression of state apparatus, and the institutionalized corruption within the governmental, judicial, and legislative structures continue to remain and sooner or later will drive the society to yet another social explosion.”
The report of the C.C. of the TPI then touches on the foreign policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran after the election of Trump in the United States: “Despite the naive assessments of the Islamic Republic’s leaders of the U.S. presidential election, and Khamenei’s favourable view of the Trump, our party’s central committee meeting in February 2018 properly affirmed that the result of the victory of Donald Trump in the U.S. presidential election, is the empowerment of the most reactionary circles and right-wing forces of the global capitalism, which have been able to put in the White House an instrument who has placed a very dangerous discourse and policy on the agenda of the American national and foreign policies. Shortly after this evaluation, the Trump administration withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on May 8, 2018.”
The report continues on the same subject, explaining that “The defenders of the theocratic regime of Iran, as well as part of the forces that claim to be the opposition of the regime, are promoting this view that foreign policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran is based on the fight against imperialism and in defending the marginalized people and liberation movements of the region. Such assessments are based on the claim that foreign policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the region is a “pre-emptive policy” to thwart the aggression of imperialism and reaction to our homeland… and as the Supreme Leader Khamenei said, if we did not fight in Damascus, we had to fight in Tehran.
“In the opinion of the Tudeh Party of Iran, the policies of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the region neither are of anti-imperialism nature, nor do they serve to help the marginalized people and the national liberation movements. The theocratic regime is based on capitalist relations with a mediaeval superstructure whose leaders are representatives of merchant capitalism and bourgeois bureaucratic capital. A major part of the wealth of these groups is closely linked to the monopolies of the global capital. It is not for no reason that the economic policies of the Islamic Republic of Iran in more than the three recent decades, have been mainly based on the policies prescribed by the IMF and the World Bank… The leader of the theocratic regime of Iran, from Khomeini to Khamenei, are not only have a clear and accurate understanding of the concept of imperialism- the way our party understands and evaluates it- but as evidenced in the large number of writings published to date, whether in the form of the memoirs of some of the regime’s heads, or in the documents of the Western governments, including the United States, the regime’s leaders, despite their anti-Western and Anti-American rhetoric, right from the beginning were seeking close ties with the Western states and to encourage the west to expand these relations, they presented themselves as a resolute barrier against the danger of communism. The exchanged messages between Jimmy Carter, the former US president, and Khomeini in 1979, were declassified by the US Department of State in November 2015. A review of these messages shows that the United States had been worried about the Soviet influence in Iran, and pointed to the close links of the military and the religious forces, warning that these close ties should not be ignored amid “Tudeh provocations”… According to these declassified documents, Khomeini had ensured guarantees against the influence of communists in the country and relations with the Soviet Union, in return of the U.S. support.”
The report of the Central Committee of the Tudeh Party of Iran then elaborated on the interaction between the domestic and foreign policies of the Islamic Republic of Iran. “The direction of foreign policy and functioning of the Islamic Republic of Iran in general cannot be alienated from its class and cultural nature and its repressive and anti-people policies. Based on its nature, the Islamic regime of Iran has only followed one model and method to promote its foreign and regional policies: religious sectarianism and the use of wealth from the export and sale of the country’s oil in order to launch recruit mercenary forces with the aim of expanding its political-military influence in the region… The basic core of the foreign policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran is to establish itself as a “regional power” and the creation of the “Islamic empire” in the region. The interventionist policy of the Islamic Republic in the countries of the region cannot be a nationalist, progressive policy defendable by any progressive force. Let’s not forget that our party and other progressive and patriotic forces have rightly opposed any foreign intervention in Iran, and therefore, are opposed to any foreign intervention in the affairs of other countries of the region.”
The report then quotes Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s Foreign Minister, who clearly admits the failure of Iran’s adventurous policies in the region. In a meeting with sixty of the Ministers and Deputies of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who has served in the years following the revolution, Mohammad Javad Zarif said: “The course of the regional developments is against Iran’s interests… Unfortunately, the situation of Iran in Iraq and the climate there is anti-Iranian due to the wrong propaganda and behaviours of Iran, and Iran’s position in the eyes of the people of Iraq is declining fast… In Afghanistan and the Taliban’s negotiations with Americans, they have agreed to make changes in the new constitution, where the rights of the Shia and Persian speaking people will be ignored… In Yemen, the Houthis have been negotiating with the Saudi government. We are currently being informed of the content of the negotiations, but they do not ask for our advice. They explicitly told us not to gamble on them in our dealings with Saudi Arabia… In Lebanon, the situation is not that bad, because we are directly involved; Hassan Nasrollah himself is managing the situation.”
The report then reviews the economic situation of Iran, in the light of the sanctions imposed on Iran, and emphasises that: “One of the most important issues of the past two years after the withdrawal of the Trump administration from the JCPOA, was the imposition of unprecedented harsh economic and financial and banking sanctions on Iran. Our party, while denouncing these agitating and inhuman policies, has rightly emphasized that sanctions in the first place have dire consequences on the lives of the ordinary people and working people.”
The report continues with a discussion about the economic policies of the Islamic Republic of Iran: “Decades of implementation of damaging economic policies based on neoliberalism and policies prescribed by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, whose fundamental characteristics have been the establishment of an economic system based on deregulation, rentier activities and bribery, intensification of widespread privatization, elimination of subsidies, “structural adjustment” of labour force, and leaving the hands of the grand capitalists open to intensify the exploitation of workers, along with the inhumane sanctions of the Trump administration, altogether have driven the economic situation of the country toward full bankruptcy. The surprising announcement of the receipt of a five-billion-dollar loan from Russia on December 5, 2019, without disclosing the conditions of its repayment by Iran, are clear signs of a worsening economic crisis of the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
Despite all of these, the report points out that “…one of the features of developments in recent years has been the expansion of the struggles of the working class against the privatization policies and oppressive policies of the Islamic Republic against the rights of the working people. The reduction of the real wages of the workers (considering the inflation) in recent years, discrimination and inequality in the rights of women and men workers and the application of a variety of restrictions on women, eliminating parts of the Labour Law which benefited workers’ rights, and the lack of a modern and democratic Labour Law in defence of workers’ rights, the lack of the least laws and regulations to require employers to comply with safety and health principles in workshops and manufacturing units, and employ children with very low wages, are only a few examples of workers’ and toilers grievances in the theocratic regime of Iran.”
The report of the Central Committee of the Tudeh Party of Iran then concludes that “Years of repression, bloodshed, and silencing every voice of people’s protest… the people who are tired of poverty, deprivation and oppression and abusive behaviour of the state apparatus, is a strong and undeniable proof in confirming the fact that the origin of repression and bloodshed in our homeland is the governing regime and its repressive apparatus such as the Islamic Corps, Ministry of Intelligence, Basij militia, and other security institutions of the regime. Forty-one years after the victory of the February Revolution, Iran is suffering under the claws of a medieval state which has no regards for the people’s rights.”
The report then discusses the revolutionary situation in Iran and says: “There are undoubtedly strong indications of a revolutionary situation in Iran, however, the necessary subjective conditions, i.e. the presence of organized social forces with credible leadership and a united front with a concrete political-struggle program is not available to provide a popular alternative and realize the demands of the popular movement and elimination of the theocratic regime from the political life of the nation.”
The report also tackles the struggle methods to achieve the goals of the movement, including large scale strikes. It reads: “The historical experience of our nation in the months before the February Revolution shows that the Shah’s regime did not just come to its knees with street protests… What empowered the revolutionary movement of February 79 and led to final victory was its force in organizing broad strikes of workers and public employees and eventually paralyzing the economic wheels and the social function of the Shah’s regime… When the protests of the people linked together and the workers of the country’s industries, especially in oil and utilities industry, went on strike, and the public employees joined them, and eventually the Bazar was shut down too, the Shah’s regime practically lost control of the country’s affairs and had no other way than to retreat and surrender to the demands of the people.”
In conclusion, the C.C. report resolves that “Iran’s theocratic regime is in a very critical situation because of a set of facts and conditions that we mentioned earlier. The grassroot movement must fully use this historic opportunity to advance its freedom-seeking moving. Our party continues to pursue its goal for the current phase of developments in establishing the united anti-dictatorship front and the elimination of the theocratic regime and for the transition from the Islamic Republic to a popular and democratic state and will continue its efforts in this way.”
From “Nameh Mardom”, Central Organ of the Tudeh Party of Iran, Issue No. 1100, 30th March 2020