But no political support for the reactionary Mullah Regime in Teheran!
Statement of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 11 May 2019, www.thecommunists.net
1. The U.S. Administration is further escalating its sanctions and military threats against Iran. In May 2018, Trump President Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 JCPOA nuclear deal with Iran and leveled massive sanctions on Iran. In recent weeks, Washington has substantially accelerated its pressure. It has stopped granting waivers that allowed eight countries to import Iranian crude without triggering U.S. sanctions. It also designated one of Iran’s armed services branches – the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) – a “terrorist organization”. Furthermore, Trump issued an executive order to sanction Iran's metal sector (steel, aluminum, copper and iron) which is its largest non-petroleum-related source of export revenue and represents 10% of its export economy. In addition, the Pentagon deployed a U.S. aircraft carrier and a bomber wing “to confront threats from Tehran”.
2. Iran’s economy has been severely affected by these massive U.S. economic sanctions. Iran’s exports have been cut in half from about 2.25 million barrels per day a year ago. According to the International Monetary Fund, Iran’s economy contracted almost 4% in 2018 and may contract 6% in 2019. Inflation has risen 50% in the last 12 months. The Iranian rial, which traded at 32,000 to $1US at the time of the accord, now trades at 153,500.
3. In retaliation, Tehran has quit parts of the 2015 JCPOA nuclear deal. It threatened to resume higher enrichment of uranium in 60 days if world powers fail to negotiate new terms for its 2015 nuclear deal. There have also been hints that Teheran might be prepared to stop the flow of oil from other big suppliers via the Strait of Hormuz – a move that would have dramatic consequences for the world economy.
4. What is behind Washington’s war-mongering against Iran? It is basically driven by its desperate desire to regain absolute hegemony in the Middle East. The acceleration of the political and economic contradictions of world capitalism and the long-term decline of the dominant imperialist Great Power have resulted in fundamental upheavals in the Middle East over the last eight years. Numerous long-time, stable, pro-American dictatorships in the region have faced revolutionary uprisings and civil wars since 2011. At the same time, new imperialist Great Powers – Russia and China – have been able to expand their influence at the cost of Washington.
5. In response, U.S. imperialism has forged an alliance of counter-revolution – a gang of butchers. At its core are Israel, Saudi-Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt. This alliance – uniting the serial killers of the Palestinians in Gaza, of the Saudi journalist Khashoggi and many other dissidents, of the Yemeni people, as well as thousands of Egyptian activists – is determined to drive back all of the achievements of the recent Great Arab Revolution. This alliance is mobilizing its forces to smash, once and for all, Palestinian resistance against the Zionist state (beware the impending, notorious, “deal of the century” of Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner), to disarm and force the Syrian popular insurgency into capitulation and to aid the ex-Gaddafi and ex-CIA general Haftar in conquering all of Libya. This gang of butchers is determined to strangle the Arab world into the silence of the grave.
6. While the imperialist Great Powers – the U.S., Russia, EU, China and Japan – largely share an interest in smashing all movements that are connected to the Arab Revolution, they are in obvious rivalry when it comes to actual control of the Middle East. This region is home to 54% of the world’s proven crude oil reserves, 35% of crude oil production, and 40% of natural gas reserves. Add to this the crucial role of the Suez Canal for world trade as well as Europe’s manufactured nationalist fear of mass migration. For all of these reasons the Great Powers are in strong competition with each other in their respective striving for regional hegemony.
7. Iran is a semi-colonial capitalist country. It largely depends on crude oil and gas exports that account for 82% of the country’s export revenues and about half of government income. However, because of its size, level of industrial modernization, and military strength, Iran also has the status of a regional power. The brutal dictatorship of Shah Reza Pahlavi served as one of the pillars of the U.S. imperialist order in the Middle East for many decades following the CIA overthrow of Mohammad Mosaddegh in 1953. This ended with the Iranian Revolution in 1979. While the workers and popular uprising was defeated in a massacre by the reactionary Mullah regime (led by Ayatollah Khomeini), this did not result in the reinstatement of the pro-U.S. monarchy of the Shah. Since then, the Iranian capitalist class has pursued a foreign policy somewhat independent of Washington. As a result, there have been repeated aggressive measures by the U.S. against Iran (including sanctions and military clashes). Related to this is the fact that Israel, the long-time forward post of Western imperialism in the region (which has become an imperialist state in its own right), also views Iran as a strategic enemy. All of this has increasingly led Teheran to seek an alliance with Russia and China.
8. The Mullah regime is in no way an “anti-imperialist” force. It simply strives to gain an enhanced position within the imperialist order of the Middle East. When popular liberation struggles endanger its influence (e.g. the Syrian Revolution against the Assad regime, a key ally of Teheran; or the national liberation struggles of the Ahwazi Arabs or the Kurds), they strive to suppress them. When popular liberation struggles are directed against its enemies, Teheran is prepared to lend them some material support (Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza, the Houthis in Yemen, Hezbollah during the Lebanon War with Israel in 2006). The regime is not anti-imperialist but its nature as a semi-colonial regional power occasionally brings them into conflict with imperialist powers.
9. The Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) unreservedly condemns the rampant aggression of U.S. imperialism against Iran. While the rivalry between Washington, Moscow and Beijing plays a certain role in this conflict, this is basically a historical conflict that began in 1979 resulting in numerous subsequent, hostile acts by U.S. imperialism against Iran. Hence, the RCIT calls for the immediate and unconditional lifting of all sanctions against Iran. In case of any military conflict between Iran and the US or Israel, we will side with the former and advocate the defeat of the imperialists. We support all activities that undermine and defeat imperialist aggression.
10. However, revolutionaries must, under no circumstances, follow the evil road advocated by the Stalinists, the Chavistas, and the pseudo-Trotskyists. These people confuse the legitimate defense of Iran against U.S. imperialism or the Zionist state with lending political support to the Mullah dictatorship or its reactionary allies. Hence they side, openly or in a concealed manner, with Assad against the Syrian Revolution or with Russia and China against its imperialist rivals in the West. In fact, these people advocate a counter-revolutionary caricature of “socialist internationalism”.
11. Likewise, we also warn those brothers and sisters who support, like us, the revolutionary uprising in Syria and therefore hate the counter-revolutionary Iranian forces: do not lend any support to the U.S. and Israeli aggression against Iran! Dancing with the Shayṭān is never a legitimate option!
12. The RCIT states unequivocally that socialists must not side with the Mullah regime against the oppressed people. Neither must they side with US or Israeli imperialism against Iran. They have to defend Iran against the imperialist aggression and they have to defend the people fighting for freedom against the Mullah regime. Hence, socialist should support the numerous strikes and protests of Iranian workers and poor against the corrupt and authoritarian regime. They must defend the national minorities in Iran who face Persian chauvinist oppression. Furthermore, they must side with the ongoing liberation struggle in Syria against the criminal Assad tyranny. The Mullah regime must be brought down – but not by the U.S. imperialism or Israel but by the workers and poor of Iran and the Middle East!
13. The struggle against imperialism and capitalist dictatorships and for freedom and social justice in the Middle East can only succeed if all Great Powers are expelled and all ruling classes expropriated and overthrown. Our goal is the creation of a workers and peasant republic as part of a socialist federation of the Middle East. We call on all activists supporting such a perspective to join the RCIT in its struggle to build revolutionary socialist parties nationally and internationally. Only such a party can give the necessary leadership to those struggles. Only such a party can transmit the socialist program to the masses.
International Secretariat of the RCIT
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For the RCIT's analysis of Iran and the imperialist aggression we refer readers to our numerous articles and statements that are published on our website at: https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/
In particular we refer to:
Warmongering in the Middle East: Down with all Imperialist Great Powers and Capitalist Dictatorships! 13 May 2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/joint-statement-warmongering-in-the-middle-east/
For the Iranian Revolution! Down with the capitalist Mullah dictatorship! Down with Imperialism! For a working class revolution in Iran! Action Platform for Iran by the RCIT, February 2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/iran-platform/