(Translated Excerpts from the Editorial of Nameh Mardom, issue no. 1190, published Monday 11 September 2023)
Regarding the increasing threats against Iran’s national interests and the theocratic regime’s sham manoeuvres on the international scene…
A general analysis of Iran’s present specific situation clearly shows that no-one in the regime’s leadership – from its apex, Khamenei, to other powerful factions and downwards – can any longer conjure a significant popular social base upon which they can rely to defend and “safeguard the regime”. The whole theocratic regime is floundering in the [self-created] quagmire of numerous socio-economic crises and endemic corruption, which have dragged the lives and livelihoods of most people, national interests, and the country’s future to the edge of a dangerous abyss…
Khamenei and his advisers are only too aware that without relying upon US imperialism it is impossible to find an antidote to their internal problems in order to “safeguard the regime” against the ever-growing risk of popular unrest. They have repeatedly demonstrated this through their cooperation, both covert and open, with the US in Afghanistan and Iraq… Contrary to their usual rants and blustery rhetoric, their main hope lies in reaching an accord with US and European imperialists…
The Tudeh Party of Iran believes that in order to better understand the reasons for the present conditions in Iran and the likely future course of actions of the theocratic regime – i.e. the options available to its leadership to “safeguard the regime” – the following objective and decisive factors need to be considered:
1) More than four decades of the undisputed dominance – both theoretical and actual – of “Political Islam”, as well as the absolute rule of the “Supreme Religious Leader” over all key affairs of the country, has made the country’s political economy completely and intractably dependent on the economic interests of the world imperialism.
2) Following the 1988 mass execution of political prisoners, known as the “National Catastrophe”; the death of [the Islamic Republic’s founder] Khomeini; the end of the Iran-Iraq War; and under the ensuing Rafsanjani-Khamenei alliance that oversaw the beginning of president Rafsanjani’s government of “Reconstruction” in 1989 backed by the new “supreme leader”, Khamenei, the overall macro-economy of the Islamic Republic of Iran was fundamentally rephased to a neoliberal model [through the application of shock therapy] and the “good governance” prescriptions of the World Bank were institutionalised and entrenched for all subsequent government administrations – especially apparent during the Ahmadinejad presidency [2005 – 2013]. This process has led to the growth and domination of financial-commercial capitalism interlinked with the parasitic bureaucratic strata within the country’s political power structure.
3) After three decades of applying economic “structural adjustments” based on the institutionalisation of neoliberal capitalism and the “good governance” of the World Bank into the fibres of the country’s political apparatus, along with the parasitic and plundering private and quasi-private sectors, there is presently no real current within the “regime”, from its head right down to its functionaries and institutions, that would stand to oppose this modern mode of exploitation of the labour force and the environment.
4) The nature and outcome of the current brutal capitalist political economy is the result of four decades of directing macro-economic programmes for the benefit of capitalism and to the detriment of the working people. It can be said that the regime’s current reaching of accord with the “Washington Consensus” – for the purpose of gaining access to markets, privatisation of public/state assets, deregulation, devaluation of the national currency, and prevention of organised trade union activities – is a fundamental and potentially irreversible process. And this reality will not change with the Islamic Republic of Iran becoming a member of any political-economic-security pact, such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation or the BRICS bloc.
Considering world imperialism and its role in Iran’s developments, we are witnessing that, on the one hand, some forces and pundits deny the existence of imperialist policies altogether or ignore its destructive effects on Iran’s upheavals and current anti-dictatorship struggle – while some even consider the support of the imperialist countries for Iran’s opposition to be essential! On the other hand, there are activists and pundits who consider the struggle to overcome Iran’s dictatorship and to gain justice for the working class to be a secondary struggle compared to the “main” anti-imperialist struggle. In other words, they downplay/subordinate the need to liberate the country from the yoke of brutal religious dictatorship inside the country to the need to change the balance of forces in the “multipolar world” – with an overriding emphasis on the anti-imperialist, and often anti-American, struggle. Some even go as far as denying the existence of a dictatorship in Iran and, based upon the theocratic regime’s own heated anti-Western rhetoric, see it as an integral part of an “anti-imperialist camp” that they consider to be progressive.
In the final analysis, these two thought streams are at best simplistic. Both, consciously or unconsciously run counter to the national interests and the wishes of most people in Iran, and help to shore-up the theocratic dictatorship and the domination of imperialism [and the symbiotic relationship between the two].
In our opinion, the experience of the 1979 Popular Revolution shows that the anti-dictatorship struggle for freedom and social justice and the struggle against imperialist and capitalist policies and against foreign interference/intervention to defend national sovereignty are two sides of the same coin and serve to complement each other. Indeed, one fails without the other.
External factors such as the balance of forces in the world; the “cold war” imposed by imperialism; and the shift between a unipolar, bipolar, or multipolar world, must be objectively appraised in the context and process of the struggle – and its possible effects must be considered on the internal developments of countries, including Iran. However, the decisive factor in the struggle for the liberation and progress of the country remains the internal context/situation and the widespread struggle of people on two fronts – namely against the dictatorship and against the imperialist intervention and its policies. Of course, a destructive war (conventional or nuclear) and the ongoing destruction of the environment would have a serious and decisive effect on all these trends. And it is for this reason that the struggle for peace and environmental preservation should be an imperative on the agenda of the progressive forces and especially those on the left [in Iran and internationally].
For the statements of the Tudeh Party of Iran and its analysis of major developments in Iran Please visit: www.tudehpartyiran.org