Iranian Marxist speaks at the 2004 congress of “The Struggle” (“Jed-o Jahd”) in Lahore

Comrades, please accept the warm greetings of the workers and youth of the Iranian Revolutionary Socialists' League. Your achievements of the past few years have given us heart. Your continuing support for the workers of Iran has helped to expand the struggles of Iranian workers (applause).

There are new developments taking place in Iran. Today both factions of the Iranian regime (the reformers and the authoritarians) have surrendered to imperialism. The occupation of Iraq by US imperialism has hastened this orientation.

The working class of Iran is under systematic repression by the government. Two months ago four honourable Iranian workers were killed in Khatoonabad. Together with their families they had demanded their just rights and were killed by the regime's mercenaries. Similar events also took place a few years ago. The workers of Shadanpoor and Jamco had gone to parliament to demand their unpaid wages, but were shot and a number of them died as a result. But despite these attacks, Iranian workers have continued their struggles (applause). On the fortieth day of the killing of Khatoonabad workers, the vanguard workers called on all Iranian workers to go on a five-minute general strike. According to reports we have received, a considerable section of workers stopped work at this time and discussed the death of the Khatoonabad workers. Today the workers' situation is like fire covered by ash - a small breeze can fan the flames (applause).

The imperialist governments, together with the International Labour Organisation, are building 'labour unions' for Iranian workers. We are all aware of the true nature of the International Labour Organisation and know that they want to exploit the workers in a new way.

In this period of struggle Iranian revolutionary socialists will be concentrating on the forming of independent workers' organisations. But at the same time, our fundamental concern is that of making preparations for forming a revolutionary vanguard party together with the workers' vanguard. A party made up of the most conscious, the most committed and the most disciplined elements within the working class.

However, building a revolutionary vanguard party in Iran is linked with the creation of a socialist organisational political centre in the region. The occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan by US imperialism has strengthened the anti-imperialist tendencies among the youth of the region. In building a revolutionary political centre in the region the role of you, revolutionary socialist comrades of Pakistan, is decisive (applause). Comrades, the anti-imperialist struggle can only be taken to its conclusion by those who combine it with the anti-capitalist struggle. And only we are able to do this in the region - not the nationalists, not the liberals, and not the democrats (applause).

Our participation in this congress is to emphasise that we can begin the creation of the building of socialist centre in the region together. Together with comrades from Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India and Turkey, we can prepare for the socialist revolution and the formation of a socialist federation for overthrowing the capitalist order and throwing off imperialism's hands from the region (applause).

Long live the socialist revolution!

Long live internationalism!

Long live socialism!