40 years of relentless struggle by Tudeh Party of Iran members against the [twin] conspiracies of imperialism and reaction, keeping the flag of the workers and toilers of the country aloft!
6 February 2023 is the 40th anniversary of the onslaught by the security apparatuses of the Islamic Republic of Iran on the Tudeh Party of Iran. In the past 40 years, many documents and writings have been published both by our Party as well as in the memoirs and comments of a number of the then leaders of the Islamic Republic and others on this matter- documents and writings that reveal [both] the obvious and hidden reasons for this all-out attack [designed] to destroy the Tudeh Party of Iran. From 6February 1983 until May 1983- when the televised show featuring the victims of the brutal torture of the Party members and supporters by the “Anonymous Soldiers of the 12th Imam” was broadcasted by Iran’s state media- the intelligence forces of the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC), as well as other security forces of the regime, moved on the Party […] and thousands of Party leaders, cadres, members, and supporters were detained in several nationwide roundups and immediately sent to torture chambers in the regime’s prisons, where they underwent all manners of depravity. The relentless torture of the members and leaders over the month and a half that followed was apparently carried out [part and parcel] of their interrogation. However, in reality, it was to facilitate the implementation of a pre-planned scenario whereby false crimes were alleged and pinned against Party members.
Khomeini, following the implementation of this scenario, and in a message that was published in the Iranian daily newspapers, declared the attack on the Party and the arrest of a number of Party leaders as a great victory [Jomhuri-e-Islami newspaper, issue 1138, 5 May 1983]. Most of the country’s newspapers in those days and months were filled with telegrams, editorials, and articles confirming and congratulating the attack on the Party. The political sermons of all Friday prayers at that time [following the attack] were dedicated to describing the “treason of the Party” and providing analysis and commentary about the “dangers” emanating from these “betrayals”. (For example: Mahdavi-Kani’s Friday prayer speech in Tehran and Jannati’s speech in Qom, on 6 May 1983, which claimed that: “The arrest and explicit confessions of the leaders of the Tudeh Party was a great victory for our nation.”) [Jomhuri-e-Islami newspaper, issue 1139, 7 May 1983].
Specific documents have been published in recent years that show the intimacy, coordination and cooperation between the security agencies of imperialist countries- especially the CIA of the USA, MI6 of the UK, Mossad of Israel, as well as the security forces of Pakistan and Turkey -and the Islamic Revolution Guards Corp (IRGC) and other security organisations of the Iranian regime in order to prepare an attack on the Tudeh Party of Iran. The [evidence of] close cooperation of the CIA and the UK government is unequivocal in these documents, following the [defection] of Vladimir Kuzichkin (KGB officer) to the UK in 1982 and the delivery of bogus documents regarding the Tudeh Party of Iran via Pakistani intelligence contacts to the authorities in Iran. The [Islamic Republic] government used these documents to launch a nationwide attack on the Tudeh Party of Iran and suppress the Party’s members and leadership.
[Saeed] Hajjarian, a Deputy chief of the “Intelligence” Unit of the then Iranian Prime Minister’s Office, spoke of the brokerage role of the Pakistan Intelligence Organisation [Inter-services Intelligence (ISI)] in this connection: “We heard from the Pakistanis. They said there is information that we want to give you.” [‘Iranian History’ site, article: “The case of the Tudeh Party [of Iran] according to Hajjarian – Tudeh Party members were arrested too early”]. Furthermore, Hashemi Rafsanjani also mentioned this role of the Pakistan Intelligence Organisation in his memoirs of 1982, titled ‘Weathering the Crisis’. In his notes for Monday 27 September 1982, he writes: “Javad (Madarshahi) and Habib, who had gone to Pakistan to get information from an informed person and had obtained interesting and useful information from him, returned. They reported on the activities of the KGB, Tudeh Party [of Iran], and the Soviet’s future in Iran.
Amongst the interesting documents that have been published in recent years, are the reports relating to “Nicholas Barrington”, the most senior representative of the British government in Tehran at that time. In one of these reports, he talks about his meeting with Mostafavi (at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) on 5 May 1983 and mentions that Mostafavi was very willing to know the opinion of the British government regarding the suppression of the Tudeh Party (of Iran). Nicholas Barrington writes in the same report: “Mostafavi drew my attention to the fact that the Tudeh member who had been on television the previous night [as part of the televised forced confessions of the Party leaders] had been 24 years in the Shah’s jails and yet had revealed no details of Tudeh organisation despite all SAVAK’s tortures. Only under the Islamic Republic had everything been revealed.I said, half in jest, that perhaps the Islamic Republic’s torture was more effective than that of the Shah.” Barrington’s report states that the British government had informed the Iranian authorities of its satisfaction with the suppression of the Tudeh Party of Iran. It is interesting to note that the day after the regime’s nationwide attack on the Tudeh Party of Iran, the Times of London expressed pleasure in its editorial regarding the suppression of the Tudeh Party of Iran by the government in Iran.
Telegram from Nicholas Barrington, the UK’s senior official in Iran, to the Foreign Office in London, 9 May 1983. (National Archives)
Contrary to all the false claims of regime leaders, including Mohsen Rezaei, who was the commander-in-chief of the IRGC at that time, the reason for the attack on the Tudeh Party of Iran was not to prevent the implementation of a “coup” by the Party against the Islamic Republic. Mir Hossein Mousavi, the Iranian Prime Minister at the time, in a conversation with Hozeh magazine (Issues 37 & 38) comments on the Party’s “coup” conspiracy against the regime as alleged by the IRGC intelligence: “We were telephoned and told that the Tudeh Party had planned a massive coup and that something might take place within the next 24 to 48 hours. We called our brother, Mr. Hashemi Rafsanjani, and the issue was discussed with other high officials of the country. Apparently, Ayatollah Khamenei and Ayatollah Mousavi Ardabili were not around/available at that time. Finally, we immediately went to see the Imam (Khomeini). The Intelligence brothers reported the problem. The Imam (Khomeini) carefully listened to the issue… and said: ‘This information is completely incorrect. There will be no problem.’ It was insisted (by the Intelligence officers) that this is not the case, and that they [the Tudeh Party of Iran leaders] themselves have admitted. The Imam said: ‘I am not saying that you should not be careful or not investigate, but you should know that these issues and information are lies.’ Later, the Imam’s analysis was found to be correct and his judgement prevailed…”
[This is noteworthy given Khomeini’s openly professed contempt for the Tudeh Party of Iran and Marxist left in the country.]
In connection to the attack on the Party, Hajjarian who was then a deputy of the “Intelligence” unit of the Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic, added: “The problem that the IRGC lads had was that they took them [the Party leaders] on as a security project, but they had no prosecution file against those arrested elements. The meetings [of Party leaders] were held on Fereshteh Street [on the Party’s premises] at declared times and there was nothing secret [about them]. Therefore, the lads in the IRGC were desperate as to how to go about the interrogations. Partovi [Mehdi] was the result of these circumstances… Anyway, the country was in a turmoil, the relationship between Iran and the Soviet Union had deteriorated and the false information given to Mr. Khoeiniha [Mohammad Mousavi Khoeiniha, aide to Khomeini before being appointed prosecutor-general] had to be justified somehow. [The Partovi issue] emerged at this point and became the focus of the interrogations…” [‘Iranian History’ site, article: “The case of the Tudeh Party according to Hajjarian – Tudeh Party members were arrested too early”].
As we have repeatedly pointed out in recent years, an overview of the state of the country and the stance of the regime leaders at that time provides clear evidence that the nationwide attack initiated on the Tudeh Party of Iran was to disrupt the Party’s political agitation [against the regime] and to prevent its revelations from coming to the fore- not least especially against the continuation of the Iran-Iraq War under the unpatriotic slogan: “War, war until victory”. For the ruling reactionaries, securing victory in the attack on the Tudeh Party of Iran was evidently more important than the victory on the war fronts. For this “victory”, Khomeini thanked the “Anonymous Soldiers of the 12th Imam”, namely the mercenaries of the IRGC, Ministry of Intelligence, and agents of the CIA, Mossad, and the UK’s Intelligence Service.
The Islamic Republic regime and its leaders, just like its imperial predecessor, who were very fearful (and remain so) of the growing influence of our Party, especially within the working class, were not content nor satisfied with just apprehending, imprisoning, torturing and executing thousands of Tudeh Party members and supporters. They needed to sew and spread scepticism and uncertainty in [Iranian] society against the significant and longstanding social and moral influence of the Tudeh Party of Iran, using their dark and dirty methods. The regime’s large-scale and well-publicised attack against the Tudeh Party of Iran involved the public-wide broadcast of repulsive television shows featuring torture victims; the [coerced] participation of several members of the Party’s leadership, on the side of the prosecutor, in the trial of the Tudeh Party’s military officers in the “revolutionary” courts; as well as the extensive operations of the regime’s intelligence apparatus which were designed to sew an atmosphere of mistrust and suspicion, and therefore completely thwart any continuation of the Party’s activities whether inside or outside the country. Paralysing the remaining spirited members and supporters of our Party with imprisonments and executions; pushing the Party towards fragmentation; and, at the same time, shaking the core foundations of belief [in the Party] as well as discrediting the history and tradition of struggle of the Tudeh Party of Iran, as the oldest political and revolutionary organisation in our country, were among the key strategic goals of the regime [and remain so to this day].
In an important ratified document, the 6th Congress of the Tudeh Party of Iran, on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the nationwide attack on the Party, mentions that: “The resumption of the activities of the Tudeh Party of Iran, following a short pause- prompting Mousavi Ardabili, the head of the country’s judiciary at the time, to acknowledge the deep roots of our Party in Iranian society – followed by the holding of the 18th Plenum of the Central Committee of the Party in December 1983, and the election of the new Central Committee and Politburo of the Party, showed the [abject] failure of the dictatorial regime’s attempts to eradicate our Party. The migration of thousands of Party members and supporters to escape the regime’s intelligence and security organisations who had set up groups to ‘hunt down the Tudeh Party members’ in every corner of the country as well as the regime’s attempt to take advantage of immigration (by sending undercover security officers or ‘turned’ victims of the security organs) to infiltrate the ranks of the Party and sabotage the already fraught task of Party reconstruction, were among the other serious issues that our Party was facing.” [Documents of the 6th Congress of the Tudeh Party of Iran, Nameh Mardom, No. 915, 25 February 2013].
It should also be emphasised that the past 40 years, following the onslaught of the Islamic Republic of Iran against our Party, has been one of the most difficult periods in the 81-year-long life of the Tudeh Party of Iran; the Party of the masses and the Party of Workers and Toilers of our country. The difficult period of long term migration [exile], the failure of the February 1979 Revolution; the establishment of an unpopular reactionary regime in Iran, and the serious challenges that right-wing forces presented to the original principles of the 1979 Revolution; the serious ideological/theoretical crisis for the world’s workers and communist movements following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc countries; the [consequent] declaration of the “New World Order”, with the hegemony of American imperialism at its core, and the theory of “the end of history” in defence of monopoly capitalism; along with the deep and destructive ruptures within the ranks of the communist and world labour movement, accounted for just some of the numerous obstacles faced by the leadership, cadres, and members of the Party in the way of the organisational, theoretical, and political reconstruction of the Tudeh Party of Iran.
Dear Tudeh combatants!
Nearly 43 years after the 2nd Congress of the Tudeh Party of Iran in 1948, the 3rd Congress of the Party was held in February 1992 – at the height of the imperialist media’s widespread propaganda on the “historical failure of socialism” and the coordinated campaign of those who had succumbed to this propaganda. The holding of this Congress and the approval of the Party’s programme and constitution, which re-enshrined the class-based nature and Marxist-Leninist worldview of the Tudeh Party of Iran, as well as the subsequent upholding of this line despite the hugely fraught backdrop of that historical period, is rightly seen as an important turning point in the political-organisational reconstruction of the Party… This line has successfully held to date, taking us right up to the holding of the 7th Congress of the Tudeh Party of Iran (‘The Khavari Congress’) in June 2022.
As stated in the Central Committee’s report to the 7th Congress, “In the last 40 years, there has not been a day that our Party has not faced a new conspiracy or form of trickery by the regime’s security apparatus to undermine its programme or any opportunity for its fruitful activity. Attacking the Party’s policies and trying to discredit its leadership, while promoting pseudo-Tudeh groups to replace our Party, are all for the purpose of pursuing a single goal… That is to prevent ideological and political unity in the ranks of the Tudeh Party of Iran and to impose the viewpoints aligned with the historical policies employed in the early years after the Revolution – such as the [pinning hope on the] “intra-regime factional struggle” policy, essentially defending the unpopular and criminal rule of the Islamic Republic.
During the heroic uprising of our people against the regime of the “Supreme Leader” in recent months, such hypocritical and anti-Tudeh policies have been accompanied with empty and false slogans [indeed slurs] that attempted to cast this popular movement as a “turning to the West” or “US conspiracy”, in order to ultimately defend [and deflect from] the Islamic Republic regime. It can also be seen that these policies and viewpoints have led to [erroneous] accusations against the courageous popular movement – in which hundreds of ordinary people have been killed and thousands arrested – of perpetrating “violence” against the oppressive regime’s enforcers and mercenaries.
Dear Tudeh Party Comrades!
Our country is going through a very sensitive period. The popular movement that has encompassed hundreds of cities in our country since last September with the slogan “Woman, Life, Freedom”, seriously challenging the existence of the Islamic Republic regime, has placed very important tasks before all of us combatants of the working class and toilers. Despite all the ups and downs of this movement arising from the changes in our society, which includes broad strata and classes of our people, the regime of the ‘Supreme Leader’, – for all its repression, killing of freedom fighters, and taking thousands of women and youths into captivity – has not yet been able to quash this popular movement that calls for an end to despotic rule over our homeland. Another important point is that along with this movement and ongoing street protests in various cities, the protests of workers and toilers, pensioners, teachers, and contract workers are also continuing. The economic, social, and political crisis of the regime is so deep that divisions can now be seen among the top ranks of the regime on how to save it from the current crises.
As mentioned in the documents of the 7th Congress of the Tudeh Party of Iran (‘The Khavari Congress’): “Today, more than ever, our Party needs [to draw upon] the strength of its ranks and the united efforts of Party members and supporters in order to intensify the struggle against the regime of the ‘Supreme Leader’.” The validity of our Party’s pioneering policies and analyses have been proved through difficult trials in the political battles of the past three decades, increasing the credibility and repute of our Party as one of the powerful battalions in the world’s workers and communist movement, as shown in their continuous support for our Party’s campaigns, policies, and publication of its analyses in various documents of the meetings of the world’s worker parties, as well as the evident increasing influence of our ideas in the daily struggle of our country’s workers and toilers, youths, students, and struggling women, waving the victorious flag of the struggle of the working class of Iran and its allies against the ruling dictatorial regime. To safeguard this precious legacy of the longstanding struggle of the working class of Iran, is to safeguard the Party of our heroes and heroines – such as Arani, Rouzbeh, Mobasheri, Siamak, Keyvan, Hekmatjou, Tizabi, Rahman Hatefi, Keymanesh, Hajjari, Hosseinpour, Shenasayee, and Fatemeh Modaressi… A sacred vow that the Central Committee of our Party and every member and supporter have hitherto adhered to and will continue to adhere. The resounding defeat of the continuous and successive conspiracies of the reactionary and unpopular regime of the ‘Supreme Leader’ to destroy the Tudeh Party of Iran is strong and undeniable proof of the enduring legitimacy of the struggle of the Tudeh Party, the Party of Work and Toil, in recent years.”
The Central Committee of the Tudeh Party of Iran
6 February 2023