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Statement of the Tudeh Party of Iran: Death of a criminal and the Iranian regime’s attempt to control the situation in the country

After hours of silence and extensive deployment of police forces in major cities of the country, the Islamic Republic’s media announced that President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian, Mohammad Ali Al-Hashem, the Friday Prayer Imam of Tabriz, Malik Rahmati, the Governor of East Azerbaijan, Seyed Mehdi Mousavi, the head of Raisi’s security team, one of Raisi’s bodyguards, and the flight crew of the helicopter carrying them were killed in a crash on Sunday, May 19, on their way back to Tabriz. Ebrahim Raisi had traveled to East Azerbaijan province of Iran for the opening of the Qiz QalaSi Dam on the Aras border river with the Republic of Azerbaijan. According to the latest reports, after the approval of Ali Khamenei, the First Vice President Mohammad Mokhber Dezfuli will assume the responsibilities of the Presidency until the presidential election is held. Mokhber Dezfuli will hold the position for about two months. According to the Iranian Constitution, the Iranian presidential election will have to be held within 50 days.

Ebrahim Raisi was a criminal member of the Islamic Republic of Iran who played a key role in the massacre of freedom fighters in Iran over the past four decades. The publication of Mr. Montazeri’s [the ex- and deposed successor of Khomeini] remarks in August 2016 about his meeting on August 15, 1988 with the “death commission” of the regime’s delegation to prisons, including Hossein Ali Nayeri, the Sharia judge, Morteza Eshraghi, the prosecutor, Mostafa Pourmohammadi, the then representative of the Ministry of Intelligence in Evin prison, and Ebrahim Raisi, the deputy prosecutor of the country, revealed the vile and ruthless nature of Ebrahim Raisi and the rulers of the Islamic Republic. In that meeting, Mr. Montazeri called the executions of political prisoners “the biggest crime ever committed” in the Islamic Republic, and said to the “death commission” present at the meeting, including Ebrahim Rasisi who was one of its members, “in my opinion, this is the biggest crime that has been committed in the Islamic Republic since the victory of the revolution and we will be condemned in history… And you will be mentioned in future among the criminals of history.”

During the 1988 massacre, thousands of political prisoners, with various beliefs and viewpoints, and from various political groups, were sent to death squads at the behest of Khomeini and on the orders of criminals such as Ebrahim Raisi. During this unprecedented massacre in the modern history of Iran, the Tudeh Party of Iran suffered the loss of a number of the most prominent leaders of the anti-dictatorship movement in Iran, prominent writers and translators, activists and cadres of the labour movement, patriotic military officers, and activists and prominent members of the student and women’s movement.

After presiding over the Islamic Republic’s criminal Judicial Power, Raisi was installed as President by the order of Ali Khamenei and the intervention of Revolutionary Guard and the security apparatus of the regime in June 2021, in a vulgar sham election in which even according to the regime’s sources more than 52% of the eligible voters in the entire country (and 74% in Tehran) did not participate and more than 4 million invalid ballots were cast.

During the presidency of Ebrahim Raisi, protests of working people intensified, widespread popular struggles against the Islamic Republic swept the country, including the “woman, life, freedom” uprising, and the bloody repression of peaceful popular protests intensified, accompanied by widespread executions of dissidents and freedom fighters. It was a period when the economic crisis worsened, there was an unprecedented inflation, tens of millions of Iranians plunged into poverty, unemployment soared, and the gap between the poor and the rich in the society deepened and widened.

The policies of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Ebrahim Raisi as the head of government of this regime have led to a much more dire situation in the lives of the people. Like its predecessors, the Raisi government failed to make any changes in the country’s declining economy and improve the living and working conditions of the country’s working people, because this government too continued the same macroeconomic programs based on the neoliberal model that were pursued for three decades.

The boycott of the sham elections of the Islamic Parliament and the Assembly of Experts, on March 1, 2024, was an unprecedented massive boycott that even according to the official figures of the regime, more than 60% of the people did not participate in, and millions of invalid votes were cast. In some cities, the number of invalid votes even exceeded the votes of the elected candidates. This was the latest test of the “popularity” rating of Ali Khamenei and his appointed criminal President in the public opinion of the nation.

The death of Ebrahim Raisi, the executioner, one of the main partners in crime of the theocratic regime of Iran, someone who was being groomed by some powerful circles within the Islamic Republic’s regime to succeed Ali Khamenei, is a blow to the regime’s plans to control the extremely critical situation in the country, particularly in the context of the critical and dangerous situation in the region. Khamenei’s remarks last night in a meeting with “a group of families of the IRGC members” saying that “the nation should not be worried and concerned, there will be no disruption in running the country,” indicate the concerns of the regime’s leaders in the current very critical situation.

The only regret of the people of Iran and the families of the survivors of the horrific crimes committed by the mercenaries of reaction and tyranny, over the death of Ebrahim Raisi, is that the opportunity for his historic trial in the not-too-distant future has been lost.

As our party has pointed out in recent months, the deep and wide divide today between the majority of the nation and the ruling dictatorship cannot be mended. A large part of the society, particularly the working class and other layers of the working people, demand fundamental political and social changes and a transition from this authoritarian regime. The Islamic Republic is rotting away and is facing with difficult crises and decisions to make in order to survive, which of course will not necessarily guarantee its survival.

By strengthening the joint and united struggle of all patriotic and freedom-loving forces of the country the road to end the current dictatorship and to establish a national and democratic government can and must be opened.

Tudeh Party of Iran

20 May 2024

** Background picture used with this news item is of Khavaran cemetery where thousands of executed progressives including our party leaders and cadres are buried in mass graves

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