Today marks 40 years since the hated regime of the Shah was overthrown by a workers' revolution in Iran in 1979. This article was written by Ted Grant in that same year. We are republishing it because we believe it is essential reading for any active worker or youth who wishes to understand both how the Shah was toppled by the masses and how, unfortunately, the revolution was hijacked by the fundamentalist mullahs.

This originally five-part document was written by Iranian Marxists on the historical roots of the Iranian revolution. In the first part they concentrate on how the Iranian economy developed, leading to an enormous strengthening of the working class and how this led to revolution in 1979. After the fall of the Shah in 1979 all the conditions for socialist revolution had matured. The tragedy was the role played by the various left parties and groups, who to one degree or another fostered illusions in Khomeini as a kind of “progressive bourgeois”.

Arrival of Ayatollah Khomeini on February 1, 1979

This month marks the 30th anniversary of the Iranian revolution. The media has been highlighting it as an "Islamic revolution", when in actual fact what we witnessed thirty years ago was a genuine workers' revolution that was hijacked by the reactionary Ayatollahs because of the lack of a genuine revolutionary leadership. Thirty years later we must learn the lessons of those tumultuous events and prepare for the next revolutionary upsurge.

The Iranian elections on February 18th 2000 returned a massive majority for the so-called "reformers" around the president Mohammed Khatami in the new Majlis (Parliament). This article looks at the results of the elections and reports the growing movement of the workers.

Once again the students have taken to the streets of Teheran and other cities. But the scope of the present movement is far greater than the movement last summer which we described at the time as "the opening shots of the Iranian revolution". This time thousands of ordinary Iranians, especially poor people, joined the students in clashes with the police and Islamic vigilantes.

Twenty five years after the 1978 revolution that overthrew the Shah, Iran is once more witnessing a reawakening of the mass movement. The regime no longer has the same grip on society as it did in the past. The lessons drawn, both from the 1978 revolution and its later defeat and hijacking by the reactionary Mullahs, must be remembered and made available to the new generation of workers and youth who are looking for a way out in Iran today. This article written in 1983 by Iranian Marxists who had actively participated in the revolution gives an excellent analysis of the whole process.

The mass demonstrations and riots in Iran are the first shots of the Iranian revolution. This article points out the importance of these events, underlines the decissive role of the workers and explains the need to link democratic demands with a socialist programme.

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