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Defend Iranian left!

From Workers Power number 25

Iran is locked in a bitter struggle marked by bloody repression on the side of the Khomeini/IRP Government on the one hand and the campaign of resistance and counter terror from the Mojahedin and the supporters of the ousted President Bani-Sadr on the other.

‘Le Monde’ in late August calculated that over 600 political opponents of the regime had been butchered since the June 27th explosion at the IRP headquarters. Executions are proceeding at 50 to 100 per day after either a summary trial or no trial at all. Girls of 9 years, old men of a hundred have gone to the slaughter in what is a massive and dramatic change in the scale and target of the repression. According to the Sunday Times (23.8.1981) the majority of those executed before January this year were monarchists and officials of the former regime. However a sizeable minority were Kurds (at least 1,000), Turkmen, and members of the religious minorities. No government – neither Bazargan, Bani-Sadr, or Radjai, since January 1979, has for long let up on the repression aimed at Iran’s national and religious minorities.

In the post-June repression the deaths have fallen heavily on the Islamic left – Mojahedin (over half of those killed), the Marxist Fedayeen (Minority), Peykar, Komaleh and the Kurdish Democratic Party. The Iranian Government claims to have wiped out the majority of the Mujahidin’s leadership inside Iran. Yet the campaign of counter terror aimed at the officials of the Government, the IRP and the Pasdars has claimed 500 victims in the last two months.

Khomeini, having definitively thrown in his lot with the Islamic Republican Party leadership since the overthrow of Bani-Sadr, must stand or fall with the bloody dictatorship of the party of clerical counter-revolution. The sharp decline of Khomeini’s reputation and faith in the Islamic republic is shown by the low turn-out in the elections to replace Bani-Sadr. From the monarchist right to the Marxist left the forces are growing that seek the IRP regime’s destruction. The economic situation facing the country is ruinous. Declining oil prices, war damage and the US Government’s economic blockade threaten the economy with total collapse. The IRP leaders and the Khomeini clique have moved decisively to behead all opposition that could lead the embittered masses or the army against them. Simultaneously they are moving against the workers‘ committees (the Shoras), closing down those that show any opposition to the regime. The obliteration of these would liquidate the last remains of the democratic and social gains of the overthrow of the Shah in 1979. However, if Khomeini succeeds in destroying the left and smashing the workers‘ organisations then it will be a pyrrhic victory for his clerical dictatorship. It will not long survive. The bazari bourgeoisie and large sections of the mullahs, already alienated from Khomeini’s rule by economic and political chaos, will ditch the IRP and turn to the army. The Khomeiniite street gangs (hezbollahis) will melt away and the IRP regime will be overthrown, either by the openly pro-imperialist Pahlavi right, or by an „Islamic“ general like Zia in Pakistan.

Against Khomeini and his various anti-working class allies, the working class and all democratic forces in Iran must unite to overthrow, by mass action, the IRP/Khomeini regime. The only way to prevent the restoration of the pro-monarchist elements or pro-bourgeoisie Bani-Sadr supporters being the result of this is to ensure that the present struggle against Islamic terror goes on to finally settle accounts with all sections of the Iranian bourgeoisie and their imperialist backers. For a workers revolution in Iran!

At the same time workers in Britain must do all they can to support all those defending democratic rights in Iran – the Mojahedin, Fedayeen (Minority), Kurds etc. Protest demonstrations against the repression, executions and torture of leftists in Iran must be organised by the Trade Unions and Labour Party. All union branches and LP organisations should send letters of protest to the Iranian embassy. All actions of Iranians in Britain who oppose the repression (and the restoration of the Shah), such as the Fedayeen (Minority) picket outside the Iranian embassy, must be supported by British workers. Solidarity with those fighting the Khomeini dictatorship’s repression!

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