The Broad Plenary Meeting of the Central Committee (CC) of the Tudeh Party of Iran (TPI) was held in February 2020. In this meeting, the participants reviewed and discussed the report of the Political Bureau about the most important developments in Iran and the world since the previous meeting of the CC two years ago and ratified it with some amendments and supplementary proposals.
In analysing the recent developments in Iran, the report reads: “Our assessment following the bloody crackdown in January 2018 was that although the regime has managed to temporarily survive the crisis, for as long as the main grounds of [widespread] discontent and popular protests - namely the damaging and anti-national interest [regime’s] policies; poverty and the deprivation of tens of millions of Iranian families; persecution and oppression by organs of the state apparatus; and institutionalised corruption within the governmental, judicial, and legislative structures - continue to exist, [Iranian] society will, sooner or later, be driven to the point of yet another social explosion.”
The report of the CC of the TPI then touched on the foreign policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran following the election of Trump in the United States: “Despite the naive assessments of the Islamic Republic's leaders regarding the US presidential election, and Khamenei's favourable view of Trump, our Party's CC meeting in February 2018 properly recognised the victory of Donald Trump in the US presidential election to be the empowerment of the most reactionary circles and right-wing forces of the global capitalism - [forces] which have been able to place in the White House an instrument who has overseen the infiltration of a very dangerous discourse and position into the agenda of the American national and foreign policies. Shortly after this evaluation, the Trump administration withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on May 8, 2018.”
The report continues on the same subject, explaining that: “The defenders of the theocratic regime of Iran, as well as part of the forces that claim to be the opposition of the regime, are promoting this view that the foreign policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran is based on the fight against imperialism and in defending the marginalised people and liberation movements of the region. Such assessments are based on the claim that the foreign policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the region is a "pre-emptive policy" to thwart the aggression of imperialism and reaction upon our homeland… And, as the Supreme Leader Khamenei said, “If we did not fight in Damascus, we would have had to fight in Tehran.”
“In the opinion of the Tudeh Party of Iran, the policies of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the region are neither of an anti-imperialist nature nor do they serve to help the marginalised people and the national liberation movements [in the region]. The theocratic regime is based on capitalist relations, with a medieval superstructure whose leaders are representatives of merchant capitalism and bourgeois bureaucratic capital. A major part of the wealth of these groups is closely linked to the monopolies of the global capital. It is not without reason that the economic policies of the Islamic Republic of Iran, for more than 3 decades now, have been mainly based on the policies prescribed by the IMF and the World Bank… The leaders of the theocratic regime of Iran, from Khomeini to Khamenei, not only have had a clear and accurate understanding of the concept of imperialism - the way our Party understands and evaluates it - but, as evidenced in the large number of writings published to date (whether in the form of the memoirs of some of the regime's leaders or in the documents of the Western governments, including that of the US) was, right from the beginning, seeking close ties with the Western states, despite their [heated] anti-Western and anti-American rhetoric. And, to encourage the Western states to expand these relations, they presented themselves as a resolute barrier against the dangers posed by communism. The exchanged messages between former US president, Jimmy Carter, and Khomeini, in 1979, were declassified by the US Department of State in November 2015. A review of the messages shows that the US had been worried about the Soviet influence in Iran, and pointed to the close links between the military and the religious forces, warning that these close ties should not be ignored amidst “Tudeh provocations”… According to the declassified documents, Khomeini had proffered guarantees against the influence of communists in the country and relations with the Soviet Union, in return for US support.”
The report of the CC of the TPI then elaborated on the interaction between the domestic and foreign policies of the Islamic Republic of Iran: “The direction of the foreign policy, as well as the functioning in general, of the Islamic Republic of Iran, cannot be alienated from its class and cultural nature and its repressive and anti-people policies. Based on its nature, the Islamic regime of Iran has only followed one model and method to promote its foreign and regional policies: religious sectarianism and the use of wealth from the export and sale of the country’s oil in order to recruit and deploy mercenary forces with the aim of expanding its political-military influence in the region... The basic core of the foreign policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran is to establish itself as a "regional power" and for the creation of an "Islamic empire" in the region. The interventionist policy of the Islamic Republic in the countries of the region cannot be deemed a nationalist, progressive policy nor can it be defended by any progressive force. Let us not forget that our Party and other progressive and patriotic forces have rightly opposed any foreign intervention in Iran, and are therefore opposed to any foreign intervention in the affairs of other countries of the region.”
The report then quotes Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s Foreign Minister, who clearly admits the failure of Iran’s adventurous policies in the region. In a meeting with 60 of the Ministers and Deputies of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to have served in the years following the Revolution, Mohammad Javad Zarif said: "The course of the regional developments is against Iran’s interests... Unfortunately, the situation of Iran in Iraq and the climate there is anti-Iranian due to the wrong propaganda and behaviours of Iran, and Iran’s position in the eyes of the people of Iraq is declining fast... In Afghanistan and the Taliban’s negotiations with Americans, they have agreed to make changes in the new constitution, whereby the rights of the Shia and Persian-speaking people will be ignored... In Yemen, the Houthis have been negotiating with the Saudi government. We are currently being informed of the content of the negotiations, but they do not ask for our advice. They explicitly told us not to gamble on them in our dealings with Saudi Arabia... In Lebanon, the situation is not that bad, because we are directly involved; Hassan Nasrallah himself is managing the situation."
The report then reviews the economic situation of Iran, in the light of the sanctions imposed on Iran, and emphasises that: “One of the most important issues of the past two years after the withdrawal of the Trump administration from the JCPOA, was the imposition of unprecedented harsh economic and financial and banking sanctions on Iran. Our party, while denouncing these agitating and inhumane policies, has rightly emphasised that sanctions in the first place have dire consequences upon the lives of the ordinary and working people.”
The report continues with a discussion about the economic policies of the Islamic Republic of Iran: “Decades of implementation of damaging economic policies based on neoliberalism and policies prescribed by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund - whose fundamental characteristics have been the establishment of an economic system based on deregulation; rentier activities and bribery; intensification of widespread privatisation; elimination of subsidies; "structural adjustment" of the labour force; and enabling the hands of grand capitalists to intensify the exploitation of workers - along with the inhumane sanctions of the Trump administration, altogether have driven the economic situation of the country towards full bankruptcy. The surprising announcement of the receipt of a five-billion-dollar loan from Russia on 5 December 2019, without the disclosure of the conditions of its repayment by Iran, is a clear sign of the worsening economic crisis faced by the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
Despite all of these, the report points out that: “One of the features of developments in recent years has been the expansion of the struggles of the working class against the privatisation and oppressive policies of the Islamic Republic against the rights of the working people. The reduction of the real wages of the workers (considering the inflation) in recent years; discrimination and inequality in the rights of women and men workers, as well as the application of a variety of restrictions on women; eliminating parts of the Labour Law which benefited workers' rights; the lack of a modern and democratic Labour Law in defence of workers' rights; the lack of even the basic laws and regulations that require employers to comply with health and safety principles in workshops and manufacturing units; and the employment of children on very low wages, are only a few examples of workers' and toilers’ grievances against the theocratic regime in Iran.”
The report of the CC of the TPI goes on to conclude that: “Years of repression, bloodshed and the silencing of every voice of people's protest - the people who are tired of poverty, deprivation, and oppression and abusive behaviour by the state apparatus, - is strong and undeniable proof that the origin of repression and bloodshed in our homeland is the governing regime and its repressive apparatus such as the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, Ministry of Intelligence, Basij militia, and other security institutions of the regime. Forty-one years after the victory of the February Revolution, Iran is suffering under the claws of a medieval state which has no regard for the people's rights.”
The report then discusses the revolutionary situation in Iran and says: “There are undoubtedly strong indications of a revolutionary situation in Iran. However, the necessary subjective conditions, i.e. the presence of organised social forces with credible leadership and a united front with a concrete political-struggle program, are not yet present to provide a popular alternative and realise the demands of the popular movement and for the elimination of the theocratic regime from the political life of the nation.”
The report also tackles the struggle methods to achieve the goals of the movement, including large-scale strikes. It reads: “The historical experience of our nation in the months before the February Revolution shows that the Shah's regime did not just come to its knees with street protests… What empowered the revolutionary movement of February ‘79 and led to the final victory was its force in organising broad strikes of workers and public employees and eventually paralysing the economic wheels and the social function of the Shah's regime… When the protests of the people linked together and the workers of the country's industries - especially in the oil and utilities industries - went on strike, and the public sector employees joined them, and eventually the Bazar was shut down too, the Shah's regime practically lost control of the country's affairs and had no other option than to retreat and surrender to the demands of the people.”
In conclusion, the CC report resolves that: “Iran's theocratic regime is in a very critical situation because of a set of facts and conditions that we mentioned earlier. The grassroots movement must fully use this historic opportunity to advance its freedom-seeking movement. Our Party continues to pursue its goal for the current phase of developments in establishing the united anti-dictatorship front and the elimination of the theocratic regime and for the transition from the Islamic Republic to a popular and democratic state and will continue its efforts in this regard.”
From "Nameh Mardom", Central Organ of the Tudeh Party of Iran, issue No.1099 16th March 2020