Strait of Hormuz: Escalating Tensions between the US/UK and Iran


Drive the Great Powers out of the Middle East! But no political support for the reactionary Mullah Regime in Teheran!


Statement of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 22 July 2019,




1.             In recent weeks we have seen a flare up of tensions between Iran and the dominant Western imperialist powers – the U.S. and Britain. After U.S. President Trump withdrew from the 2015 JCPOA nuclear deal with Iran and levied massive sanctions on Iran in May 2018, Washington imposed even harsher sanctions on the Middle East country a few months ago with the goal of cutting it completely off from foreign trade. The U.S. also increased its naval presence in the Persian Gulf. However, Iran retaliated and shot down on 20 June one of the most sophisticated surveillance drones in the arsenal of the U.S. military. There were also multiple attacks on tankers in the Gulf for which Washington immediately fingered Iran. More recently, the UK – a close ally of U.S. imperialism – sized an Iranian tanker off the coast of Gibraltar. In retaliation, Iranian forces captured a British-flagged oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz on 19 July. Furthermore, Washington announced plans to deploy 500 soldiers as well as F-22 stealth aircraft and other fighter jets to the Prince Sultan Air Base in Saudi Arabia. Further escalation of the tensions is highly likely and may result in a regional war between the two opposing camps.


2.             There are no doubt massive inner contradictions in the interests of the Western imperialists. Washington (and London) might seek a “nice little war” against Iran. That could, so they hope, help out the crisis-shaken and scandal-ridden governments of the Orange Man and Boris Johnson – another Trumpian douchebag with a profound aversion to tonsorial etiquette. However, this is an extremely risky strategy and even Trump is aware of this – in particular given the anti-war sentiments of sectors of his core electoral base in the Middle West (which is probably why he called off air strikes against Iran at the last minute in June after Iranians downed a US drone.) Washington’s tactics are particularly adventurist because the Iranian military is not only a powerful force fighting in its home territory but also because it receives the unconcealed support of Russia and China – the most important imperialist rivals of the West. Furthermore, any serious engagement of the U.S. military in the Persian Gulf undermines the strategic goal of the strongest Western Great Power to counter China in the Asian-Pacific region. On the other hand, there are strong forces in and around the Trump Administration that desire a military attack against Teheran. Such an unholy alliance of war-mongers includes U.S. National Security Advisor, John Robert Bolton; Secretary of State, Michael Pompeo, Israel and the highly influential hard-core Zionist forces in the U.S. as well as the arch-reactionary monarchies of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.


3.             As we indicated in our last statement on this issue (see the link below), the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) has not the slightest political sympathy for the capitalist Mullah regime in Teheran. We support the struggle of the workers and oppressed peoples in Iran to overthrow the reactionary regime. We unswervingly stand in the camp of the Syrian Revolution fighting against the tyranny of Assad as well as its Russian imperialist and Iranian backers. However, while the U.S. and UK are imperialist Great Powers, Iran is not. It is rather a capitalist intermediate power which basically remains an industrialized semi-colonial country. As we did explain in the past, the current tensions in the Strait of Hormuz are essentially about the hegemony of U.S. imperialism and its allies in the Middle East, in general, and over the global implications of the trade in oil and gas flowing from the Persian Gulf, in particular.


4.             In light of this, the RCIT reiterate that socialists must advocate the defeat of the Western Great Powers and support Iranian actions to undermine and sabotage any imperialist aggression. Hence, we call for an end to the economic sanctions against Iran that have primarily effected the general population. We welcome actions that are directed against the “Great Satan”, i.e. U.S. imperialism and its allies.


5.             At the same time, the RCIT continues its support for the liberation struggles of the Syrian people against the Assad regime as well as of the Yemeni people against Saudi predation. We reject the reactionary vulgar logic of Stalinists, Castro-Chavistas or petty-bourgeois nationalists. Revolutionaries fighting for the global liberation of the workers and oppressed do not view the world as basically divided into two camps – the Western and the Eastern Great Powers – of which, one is obligated to pick a favorite. We take the side of the working class. Neither do we look at world politics through blurry lenses that subordinate the interests of the oppressed around the globe to the interests of the liberation struggle in a single country. No, the RCIT states that the world is divided between classes irrespective of skin color – between the exploiters and the working class and the popular masses – as well as between the oppressor nations and the oppressed nations. Hence, socialists must oppose all Great Powers – in West and East – and they must support all liberation struggles, irrespective if they are directed against this or that regime or against an ally of this or that Great Power.


6.             In the current situation in the Middle East, this means that the RCIT advocates a struggle on two fronts: siding with Iran against US/UK imperialism and siding with the Iranian workers and oppressed against the Mullah regime, with the Syrian people against Assad/Putin/Rouhani and with the Yemeni people against the Saudi aggressors. Hence, we call revolutionaries to join the RCIT in fighting for the following slogans:


* End the imperialist sanctions against Iran!


* US Navy and allies – out of the Persian Gulf!


* For the defeat of the US/UK in any military confrontation with Iran!


* US military out of the Middle East! Close all US military bases!


* Support the struggle of the workers and oppressed in Iran against the Mullah regime!


* Victory to the Syrian Revolution against Assad/Putin/Rouhani! Drive the Russian and Iranian forces out of Syria!


* Support the Yemeni popular resistance against the Saudi invaders and their allies!


* For workers and peasants republics! For a socialist federation of the Middle East!




International Bureau of the RCIT




* * * * *




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:


In particular we refer to:


Iran: Down with Trump’s Sanctions and Military Threats! But no political support for the reactionary Mullah Regime in Teheran! 11 May 2019,


Warmongering in the Middle East: Down with all Imperialist Great Powers and Capitalist Dictatorships! 13 May 2018,


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,


Six Points for a Platform of Revolutionary Unity Today. A Proposal from the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), February 2018,


Michael Pröbsting: Anti-Imperialism in the Age of Great Power Rivalry. The Factors behind the Accelerating Rivalry between the U.S., China, Russia, EU and Japan. A Critique of the Left’s Analysis and an Outline of the Marxist Perspective, RCIT Books, Vienna 2019,