The statement of the Tudeh Party of Iran: We salute the vigilant and heroic people of Iran!

The resounding “NO” of the people to the despotic and oppressive ruling regime and the defeat of the scandalous “elections” show

Dear citizens, progressive and freedom-loving forces, and working people of Iran,

The resounding failure of the so-called “elections” on 1 March 2024, marked by the widespread boycott of tens of millions of citizens and all progressive and freedom-loving forces in the country, represents a crucial milestone in our collective struggle to put an end to the corrupt and tyrannical theocratic regime and a pave the way for the establishment of a national and democratic government in our nation.

Despite all of the desperate efforts, decrees, and advice of the leader and other heads of the regime to hold an “exhilarating election”, even based on the official and fraudulent statistics of the Ministry of Interior, over thirty-five million Iranians (out of the 61 million eligible to vote) refused to go to the ballot boxes in a clear protest move. The number of null and void votes in many cities exceeded the number of votes won by the winning candidate there. According to the statement issued by the “Elections Office” of the Ministry of Interior, parliamentary elections in 15 [out of 31] provinces of the country have gone to a second round.

In Tehran, where there are more than 10 million eligible voters, Mahmoud Nabaviyan, a student of Mesbah Yazdi (arch conservative) and supporter of the Taliban, secured a seat in the parliament with 545,000 votes. According to the Mehr news agency, the voter turnout in Tehran was 24%. Etemad newspaper compared this percentage with the 2022 results of 34.39% and wrote: “Therefore, this election day witnessed the lowest turnout in Tehran”. Additionally, social media reports indicated that hundreds of thousands of null and void votes were cast in Tehran. Thus, not only did the overwhelming majority of people abstain from participating in the elections, but also a significant portion of those who did go to the polling stations, under pressure and threat, cast invalid votes. Basim Laleh, a reporter from the ILNA (Iran’s Labour News Agency) stationed at the Ministry of Interior, wrote on X on Saturday March 2 that after counting 80% of the votes in the ballot boxes in Tehran, the number of null votes “exceeded 380,000”. Mohammad Mohajeri, a journalist close to the fundamentalists, also observed: “The result of the parliamentary elections in most cities, even mega conurbations like Tehran, is strange and remarkable. That is, the null and void votes are in first or second place!”

Dear citizens,

For quite some time now, this anti-people, criminal, and corrupt regime has lost its legitimacy to govern the country. It clings to survival only through violence and brutal suppression of popular protests. In recent weeks, we’ve witnessed the heroic struggle of the nation’s workers and working people, including Ahvaz steel workers, oil industry workers, and pensioners, as they stand against the regime’s oppressive policies.

These policies have plunged our nation into poverty and deprivation in such a way that, according to statistics, tens of millions of citizens are now forced to live below the poverty line, enduring immense hardship. This level of poverty and deprivation is unprecedented in our contemporary history.

The Islamic Republic regime operates in the interests of the big mercantile capitalists and a bureaucracy developed and entrenched within the country’s military and security agencies. This has driven Iran towards total economic bankruptcy and an unprecedented expansion of decadent social norms through the implementation of antipeople, neoliberal policies and programs.

It is on this basis that the working class and working people of Iran played an effective and significant role in the decisive “NO” campaign against the despotic regime and in shattering the sham elections held on 1 March 2024.

The experience of extensive and coordinated boycott of the elections on 1 March 2024, supported by the workers, pensioners, teachers, victimized families seeking justice, political prisoners, civil organizations, progressive and freedom-loving forces, and political parties and organizations demonstrated that any dictatorial rule can be challenged through collective effort. The Tudeh Party of Iran believes that the dire conditions of the country are like fire under the ashes, which will inevitably ignite again, just like the broad popular protests of 2017, 2019, and the “Women, Life, Freedom” movement [in 2022-23].

Efforts must be concerted to unite the heroic struggle of the country’s workers and working people, which continues to grow despite the repressive tactics of the regime’s mercenaries, with the struggles of pensioners, education workers, women, and the youth. This collaboration aims to pave the way for the formation of a general strike movement and the establishment of nationwide general and labour strikes.

Our imperative task is to open the way to dismantle the despotic Islamic regime, which stands against the interests of the people. We can achieve this by learning from the experiences of these widespread protest movements and studying their weaknesses, including the lack of a unified front to guide the struggles.

The Tudeh Party of Iran stands ready to cooperate and collaborate with all patriotic and freedom-loving forces of the country in order to find the appropriate solutions in this endeavor.

The Tudeh Party of Iran

3 March 2024


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