The vulnerability of the theocratic dictatorship, … and the need for the creation of a national progressive alternative…

(Translated Excerpts from the Editorial of Nameh Mardom, issue no. 1189, published Monday 28 August 2023)


The vulnerability of the theocratic dictatorship, the failure of royalist opposition, and the need for the creation of a national progressive alternative…

Amid the ever-worsening economic crisis in Iran [and its widespread ill-effects], it is now very clear that the so-called solution of the “popular government”, as endorsed by the “representative of God on Earth” [Ayatollah Ali Khamenei] is futile.  It is clear that the consequences of the economic crisis and its devastating effects on people’s livelihoods, security, and wellbeing – as manifested in the continued protests of the destitute and marginalised – are causes for increasingly grave concern among the leadership of the theocratic dictatorship.  And their grave concerns, indeed fears, regarding the simmering widespread resentment of the long-suffering and justice-seeking people of Iran, have doubled on the eve of the first anniversary of Mahsa Amini’s brutal killing at the hands of the regime’s enforcers.

[President] Raisi’s blustery propaganda and exaggerated claims, based on Iran’s recent acceptance into the BRICS group, such as the potential for the de-dollarisation of Iran’s economy or the positive effects of the accession on Iran’s “political capabilities”, are just another manifestation of the deceitful and ultimately futile efforts of the theocratic regime to bolster its standing externally in the desperate hope of finding an antidote that staves-off the ever-present and growing threat of popular protests and a national revolt inside the country.

It must be stated that the continued presence of [and counterweight posed by] the BRICS group, and its recent planned expansion, on the one hand reflect the decline of US economic dominance – which is undoubtedly an important issue for anti-imperialist forces and the countries of the Global South..  However, on the other hand, the BRICS group actually represents a diverse group of countries [in terms of ideology and political orientation].  For example; India is also an active member of “Quad” (or QSD), a US-led military-security bloc also comprising Japan and Australia, as a counter to China.  Saudi Arabia and Egypt, other new BRICS members, are also countries whose military forces are completely dependent on [and aligned with] the US.  Thus, any expectation that this diverse group can confront the imperialist bloc must be carefully and cautiously appraised as this is far from a black and white issue..  What is stated in the Islamic Republic regime propaganda on the benefits of Iran’s membership in BRICS simply does not hold water and cannot be realised under its unpopular and illegitimate theocratic dictatorship and harsh capitalist political economy.  However, if there was a national democratic government in power in Iran, it would have been possible to appraise participation in a group like BRICS as a good token for Iran’s development, growth, and capacity to improve the livelihood of the country’s working people.

Given the theocratic regime’s now inherent instability and the “calm before the storm” vis-a-vis the widespread public anger and revulsion that is threatening the repressive ruling regime, Ali Khamenei cannot do anything other than to repeat the desperate and futile attempt to divert public opinion [in Iran] towards international issues and those posed by a “foreign enemy”.

Four decades after the February 1979 Revolution – which was subsequently hijacked and defeated by the Islamist regime – the theocratic regime, based upon the absolute rule of one person and the prevailing of “Political Islam”, is now utterly discredited and reviled by the vast majority of the country’s public opinion.  The regime’s leadership, from it’s autocratic “supreme leader” through to those plundering functionaries in all the pillars of the Islamic Republic, due to their anti-people nature, cannot or do not want to understand and accept the irreversibility of this new state of mind across most quarters of Iranian society.  Therefore, they avoid or are unable to find effective solutions to improve the working conditions and livelihoods of the ordinary people.  Nevertheless, they are acutely aware of the threat that their theocratic regime now faces from mounting popular discontent in Iran and of the reality that their order has become increasingly vulnerable – resulting in their default recourse to brutal repression.

It is clear that the theocratic dictatorship is in a very difficult situation.  On the one hand, this regime is unable to solve the crisis of the economic deadlock and counter its dangerous consequences – and, on the other hand, it has lost its means of influencing public opinion in Iran, by taking advantage of people’s religious beliefs.

All evidence indicates that a valuable opportunity has arisen for Iran’s left and progressive nationalist forces to present an acceptable alternative to the protesting people.  Amid the people’s rejection of the religious dictatorship, the ideological pillars of “Political Islam” are collapsing.  Today, the level of socio-political awareness and the material demands of the society go way beyond the reactionary norms of the ruling regime.  The fundamental principle of the “complete separation of religion from the state” is now at the heart of discourse throughout Iranian society..  Meanwhile, despite the vast financial and propaganda resources of the [exiled] fake opposition – comprising of right-wing republicans through to the extreme-right forces gathered around Reza Pahlavi – with the support of the imperialist powers, this divisive and monopolist opposition has failed…  In fact, the whole project of rehabilitating and reviving the [last] monarchical regime to replace the theocratic dictatorship has abjectly failed and demonstrably so.

 On the eve of the anniversary of the start of the “Woman, Life, Freedom” movement, we are witnessing promising signs [in Iran] of the creation of the necessary subjective grounds to plan and realise a national, progressive, effective, and credible alternative to the theocratic dictatorship based on the “complete separation of religion from the state”.  We welcome these frank and honest exchanges and are prepared for organised cooperation with all progressive and nationalist forces to dismantle the ruling religious dictatorship and move towards the formation and establishment of a secular national democratic government in Iran.


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