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Tudeh Party of Iran: The death of Raisi, the Iranian president, chaos in a “homogeneous regime”, and the need to organise for maximum pressure on the ruling dictatorship!

(Extracts from the Editorial of Nameh Mardom, issue no. 1209, published Monday 3 June 2024)

The death of Raisi, the Iranian president, chaos in a “homogeneous regime”, and the need to organise for maximum pressure on the ruling dictatorship

With the death of Ebrahim Raisi, the criminal servant of the ruling dictatorship, the “homogeneous regime” project favoured by [“Supreme Leader”] Khamenei has suffered another blow. This project, centred around Raisi’s administration, had already overseen major failures in both domestic and foreign policy over the past three years.

On one front, the widespread boycotting of a succession of sham elections over the past three years, marked by the people’s resounding “NO!”, have dealt a significant blow to this project and the credibility of Khamenei and his appointed president. On the other, the widespread protests of the people under the slogan “Woman, Life, Freedom” have placed the entire ruling dictatorship in an unstable and irreversible situation and now in perpetual fear of the people.

As our Party has repeatedly emphasised, a deep, wide, and unbridgeable chasm has emerged between the people and the entirety of the ruling despotic regime. Despite the government’s false propaganda and an array of elaborate shows at Raisi’s funeral ceremonies, where he was glorified with false titles such as “Servant of Imam Reza” [Eighth Imam of the Shi’a Muslims] and “Servant of the Iranian Nation”, the majority of society was indifferent to these grand ceremonies and theatrical mourning displays. Many people even welcomed and expressed joy over the death of one of the dictatorial regime’s criminal servants.

As regards the realm of international publicity, the efforts of the Islamic Republic’s Foreign Ministry to invite world leaders to Raisi’s funeral ceremony and to present him as a “people’s martyr” and “hero of the Islamic resistance” did not yield favourable results for the theocratic regime. The absence of the leaders of powerful countries, especially those who are supposed to be the regime’s strategic allies, and the essence of the diplomatic messages of condolence received from other governments – mostly driven by their economic interests in Iran – highlight the bankruptcy in foreign policy as well as international isolation of the Islamic Republic.

However, it is worth noting that a handful of messages were also published by leftist and progressive forces of the world on this occasion “in praise” of Raisi. It seems that the publishers of these messages, oblivious to Raisi’s past crimes while in the judiciary as well as the destructive policies of his government, were more swayed by the necessity to support the victims of Israel’s killing machine in Gaza. These forces have confused the superficial and insincere actions of the Islamic Republic and its crocodile tears for the Palestinian people for genuine support of their cause and rights. By ignoring the structure and nature of the ruling dictatorship – and the position of the president, selected by the “Supreme Leader”, within it – and completely overlooking Raisi’s criminal role in the massacre of Iran’s left and progressive political activists, they have honoured him as an “anti-imperialist hero” of the “Islamic resistance” front.

One simply cannot support the struggle of the people and the left and progressive forces in Iran being waged under the repression and injustice of the theocratic dictatorship while, under the pretext of supporting an anti-imperialist struggle, sending condolences to the “leader” of that very same reactionary dictatorship and praising an executioner like Ebrahim Raisi! The justice-seeking and freedom-loving people and progressive forces of Iran, including the Tudeh Party of Iran, do not accept such statements in praise of the agents of the dictatorial regime, against which they have righteously arisen in struggle, and do not consider them worthy of the progressive forces of the world.

Today, it is clear that the ruling dictatorship’s domestic tactics to counter the “threat” of the people of Iran are limited to two main areas: one is brutal repression, and the other is the use of certain slogans and dramatic moves for the purposes of political deception. However, owing to the commendable social struggle of the Iranian people, the effectiveness of both tactics is diminishing day by day. For now, the regime can maintain the balance of power in its favour by relying on its repressive power.

If the [regime’s] current policies continue, it is clear that the deteriorating trend in living conditions of the working class and other toiling masses will not be halted. The fabric of this government’s power and its economic structure are intertwined with the implementation of economic programs based on the harsh neoliberal capitalist model, aligning Iran’s economy with the “Washington Consensus”. Thus, given the importance of selecting the [ageing and ailing] Khamenei’s successor sooner or later [as “Supreme Leader”], for the regime leaders and the upper layers of the bourgeoisie connected to the power pyramid, maintaining such a structure plays a decisive role in “safeguarding the regime”. Consequently, regardless of who holds the leadership positions in the three constitutive branches of the regime, the state apparatus will continue implementing economic programs based on the neoliberal model to preserve and expand the interests of the upper echelons of big capital in Iran.

On the international scene, it is well known that before Raisi’s death, representatives of the Islamic Republic, under Khamenei’s instructions, were engaged in negotiations with US representatives behind closed doors. Similar secret negotiations took place in Oman during the last year of Ahmadinejad’s presidency, which eventually led to the approval of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) through Khamenei’s “heroic flexibility” and his explicit orders to the parliament [to ratify it speedily]. It is worth bearing in mind that it was Donald Trump, as US president, who [in abrogating this arrangement] disrupted these equations, not the Islamic Republic regime. In fact, the officials of the Islamic Republic, with Khamenei’s approval and support, had been eagerly engaged in integrating Iran’s economy into the global capitalist system, an economy that is largely import-dependent, single-product (relying on oil exports), and dominated by finance-mercantile capital.

Following Raisi’s death, the plans of Khamenei and his inner circle to solidify a “homogeneous regime” and determine the successor to the “Supreme Leader” have encountered chaos. The Islamic Republic, by organising presidential elections in the public sphere while simultaneously negotiating with the US behind closed doors, desperately seeks to stabilise the situation and ensure the continuity of its theocratic dictatorship. Against this backdrop, the united action and cooperation of the left and progressive forces can deal a significant blow to the ruling dictatorship by exposing and neutralising its tactics and forcing it into retreat.

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For the statements of the Tudeh Party of Iran and its analysis of major developments in Iran Please visit:    www.tudehpartyiran.org

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