Iran

As we reported earlier several Kurdish based leftist organisations called for a general strike in Iranian Kurdistan on May 13 to protest the sudden execution of 5 Kurdish labour activists. The executions, as a part of a general wave of oppression by the Tehran regime, was clearly intended to use the temporary lull in the mass movement to intimidate the Iranian masses and get the upper hand in the revolutionary struggles that have been developing the since last June. But as seen many times before in times of revolution, the whip of the counter-revolution can serve to arouse the masses more than pushing them back.

A few days ago the hated Islamic Republic of Iran executed five militant youth. Komalah, the Kurdistan Organization of the Communist Party of Iran, has called for a general strike throughout Iranian Kurdistan. It is a call that the IMT fully supports. The regime can only be brought down by the mass action of the workers and the actions in Kurdistan should be spread to the whole of Iran, involving the whole of the working class.

With some delay we received this report on activities in Iran on May Day. Our readers will see that there was a sizeable level of activity on the day, but most importantly that the key issue of the role of the working class is being discussed widely among activists and workers and youth in general.

The first day of spring marks the beginning of the Iranian New Year, which is celebrated with bonfires, fireworks and dancing in the streets. This year, however, there was something new in the celebrations. The masses used the celebrations to express openly their hatred of the Islamic regime, in spite of attempt by the police to stop this.

On February 11 the masses attempted to organise anti-government protests. This time the regime prepared systematically, learning from previous days of protest. This has brought out some of the limitations of the movement, but the masses are learning from each experience. They require greater organisation and leadership, and most importantly the active intervention of the working class.

In order to harass left activists, members of the Worker-Communist Party of Iran-Hekmatist, the Iranian regime’s “courts” have declared 12 members of this party as common criminals. Scandalously, INTERPOL has accepted this verdict as valid and has put these left activists on its “wanted list”.

Recent events in Iran have highlighted the fact that the movement that erupted back in June was not a one off sporadic event. It marked the beginning of a revolutionary process that will not stop until this hated regime is brought down. There are ups and downs, but the direction is clear. What the mass movement now requires is the decisive intervention of the organised working class. That is what the Marxists insist on in this situation.

Over the last few days, mass demonstrations have erupted again in Iran. Millions are on the streets and there are reports of the people taking control of the streets, burning down police stations and even of police refusing to fire on demonstrators. These could be the last days of the hated IRI regime. If a revolutionary leadership were present, the hours of the Islamic Republic would be counted. We publish this article with lots of eyewitness reports from the ground.

“Student’s Day” on 7 December was used by the Iranian opposition to stage a huge anti-government protest, which turned out to be the most aggressive day of protests since they began in June. Hundreds of thousands of people joined the students on the streets. The further escalation of protests and clashes with the police and Basij has confirmed our analysis that this is the beginning of a revolution.

Mansour Osanloo, the leader of the Steering Committee of the Trade Union of the Vahed Bus Company of Tehran and Suburbs, has been sacked from work.

On Monday December 7, 2009, Pedram Nasrollahi, a labour movement and women’s movement activist, was released on 30 million tomans ($30,369) bail. Pedram Nasrollahi was arrested by the security force on Thursday, November 12, 2009, at 5:40pm, while returning [home] from work. He was detained in Sanandaj’s Ferdowsi Street, and after a beating was held in the city prison’s quarantine.

Iranian president Ahmadinejad recently visited Brazil. Some on the left erroneously have developed illusions that somehow his regime should be supported because of its “anti-imperialism”. Here we publish a statement of the comrades of Esquerda Marxista, where they explain that Ahmadinejad is no friend of the working class.

According to the latest news, at 2pm today, Tuesday December 1 2009, Farzad Ahmadi, a labour activist and tailor, was released from Sanandaj prison on a bail of 30 million tomans ($30,369). While we congratulate all activists of the class struggle on the release of this dear comrade, we condemn the detention of Pedram Nasrollahi and demand the unconditional release of this labour activist.

Last week's visit of the president of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ahmadinejad to Bolivia has unleashed the hysteria of the reactionary media in the country and abroad. The idea has been promoted that the Iranian regime is in some way “anti-imperialist”, “revolutionary”, and that the foreign policy of the Bolivian revolution must be guided by the principle of “multi-polarity”, or to put it clearly, the principle that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”. Here we publish a statement by the Marxist Tendency in Bolivia, analysing the real character of the Iranian regime.

The following is a statement issued by Iranian Workers’ Solidarity Network activists in Sanandaj (in the Iranian province of Kurdistan) on the recent arrest of Farzad Ahmadi, a labour activist.

Two labour activists in Kurdistan were recently arrested for the 'crime' of defending workers' rights, attending workers' meetings and not caving in to the Iranian regime's threats. Pedram Nasrollahi and Farzad Ahmadi have the support of dozens of workers in Sanandaj and other parts of Iranian Kurdistan. [Updated list of supporters: 30 Nov.]

The following is a statement issued by Iranian Workers’ Solidarity Network activists in Sanandaj on the recent arrest of Pedram Nasrollahi, a Kurdish labour activist. Pedram was released on bail earlier this year (April 6 2009) from prison in Sanandaj, the capital of the Iranian province of Kurdistan.

After their wages and bonuses went unpaid a group of Abadan oil refinery workers began a protest on Wednesday November 11. Around 300 workers have not been paid for more than three months.

On November 4 Iran was once again shaken by mass demonstrations. Normally this day is used by the regime to celebrate the anniversary of the occupation of the US embassy in Iran. The masses used it to mobilize against the regime, shouting slogans such as “Death to the Dictator”, revealing a deep-felt desire to see an end to this regime.

On Monday November 2 the bakers of Sanandaj, in Iranian Kurdistan, won a pay rise. After their several meetings and ongoing correspondence with the Governor’s Office and other Sanandaj authorities over higher wages had no result, the bakers of Sanandaj finally announced a three-hour strike on November 2.

The Arbitration Board of the Shush Labour Office has fired Ali Nejati, the President of the Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane Company Workers’ Trade Union.

The Appeals Court of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Ahvaz has issued prison sentences for the labour activists and executive committee members of the Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane Company’s trade union.

On September 18 there were mass demonstrations in Iran, confirming the fact that the movement that began against electoral fraud is not dead. That movement shook Iranian society, and although there will be ups and downs, it will continue until the present hated regime is brought down. The key question is the role of the working class and the need for a revolutionary leadership.

Two hundred and fifty workers at the Crepe Naz textiles factory in Harsin County (in Kermanshah Province, western Iran) stopped work on 12-15 September to protest against not being paid their wages for the past four months.

Last week we witnessed a public spectacle in Iran, which revealed the resilience of the mass movement, but most importantly it brought out into the open the serious divisions at the top of the regime, the precursor of an even deeper crisis. What is required now is for the working class to step in as a force that can lead the whole movement and bring down the regime.

The 4000 workers at the brick kilns of Vayghan-Shabestar, in East Azerbaijan province, have won better pay and benefits following a 17-day strike. Iranian Workers’ Solidarity Network has translated two statements by the Free Trade Union of Iranian Workers on this strike.

The reign of terror unleashed by the Iranian government against the demonstrations in the aftermath of the rigged elections did succeed in keeping people off the streets the last 11 days. But yesterday this combustible material ignited once again, as thousands once more took to the streets in a collective show of defiance.

In spite of attempts by the regime to intimidate people with threats of violent repression, thousands turned out to demonstrate yesterday in Tehran. Here we have eyewitness reports about the events that unfolded.

Millions of Iranians have come out on the streets demanding a change in regime. The movement that was first sparked off by “electoral fraud” has become a movement to demand complete democratic rights and against the dictatorship of the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is an interview (conducted on July 2nd 2009) with Arash, an Iranian socialist, which was originally made to explain the situation in Iran to an Indonesian audience.

Some on the left are questioning whether the movement in Iran is a progressive one. They have been taken in by propaganda that states that the movement is all an “imperialist plot” to overthrow the Islamic regime. This ignores the very essence of what is happening in Iran, which is the beginning of a revolution. What is required to move everything forward now is decisive action by the working class.

The workers of the service line unit of the Ferdowsi branch of the Sanandaj Communication Office went on strike on June 22 2009 near the office. The 52 workers, who are contract workers, were told by the Communication Office that they were about to be sacked and that a new workforce with lower wages would replace them.

In response to recent statements by Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, the Venezuelan Revolutionary Marxist Current has issued this statement. They express their support for the movement of the masses in Iran and explain the differences between the revolutionary movement in Venezuela and the counter-revolutionary regime in Iran.

Forty-eight days have passed since the suppression and arrests of the workers’ gathering on International Labour Day - May Day. During this time important events have taken place and have caused widespread and amazing changes in the social movement of the country. Here we publish a message and a list of demands of the Free Trade Union of Iranian Workers.

On Saturday, June 20 and Sunday, June 21, the mass movement in Iran took another step forward. After a full week of illegal mass demonstrations, the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei had made it clear that no more protests would be allowed, and that the full force of the repressive apparatus would be used. That did not stop the movement. On both days, thousands came to the streets and when prevented from demonstrating by the police and other repressive forces they fought back, and in some cases forced the police to retreat. Nothing will be the same after this weekend.

As reports are coming in about clashes between protesters and police in Tehran, it is clear that the movement against the fraud has reached a critical point. Khamenei’s speech yesterday threw down the gauntlet to the movement and threatened repercussions for continued protests but the organised working class are now joining the struggle against the regime.

What we are witnessing in Iran is a full-blown popular revolution. However, in order to set its stamp on the movement, the working class must participate in the front line. The movement will stand or fall to the degree that the working class is able to lead it.

The stormy street demonstrations in Iran are continuing and gathering strength. Anti-government protesters held another big rally in central Tehran today (Wednesday), which, to judge from photographs we have just received, has dwarfed even the massive demonstrations of the last few days. It defied renewed calls from Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader, to keep off the streets. Faced with vast protests, the ruling regime in Tehran is being pulled in opposite directions.

All the objective conditions for revolution as outlined by Lenin have matured in Iran. The events of the past few days mark the beginning of the Iranian revolution, which will unfold over a whole period. This is due to the lack of a mass revolutionary party capable of leading the masses today. But the conditions to build such a force have also matured. Workers and youth in Iran will be looking for the genuine ideas of revolutionary socialism, of Marxism.

Dramatic events are unfolding in Iran. Hundreds of thousands of people marched in silence through central Tehran on Monday to protest Iran’s disputed presidential election in an extraordinary show of defiance that appeared to be the largest anti-government demonstration in Iran since the 1979 revolution. Reuter says one demonstrator was shot dead. But nothing can stem the tide. The revolutionary situation is unfolding with lightening speed.

Two candidates stood in the Iranian “elections”, but the regime had decided who was going to win long before any votes were cast. In spite of the mild, “loyal opposition” of Mousavi, large sections of the Iranian electorate used their vote to express opposition to the regime. Once the “result” was announced violence broke out on the streets, revealing the seething anger and discontent among the masses. This marks a new phase in the development of the Iranian revolution.

Last week the workers of Iran Khodro were successful with their glorious strike which started in the assembly hall and continued in the shuttle (body) hall and ended with the press hall strike. The workers’ immediate demands were payment of their unpaid wages (productivity and last year’s production record bonuses) and to switch workers on temporary contracts to contracts of the Iran Khodro Company itself.

At 5pm on May 1 2009 workers and their families gathered in Sanandaj's Amiriyeh Park to commemorate International Labour Day. The May Day celebration was disrupted after 15 minutes when police and plain-clothes security officers attacked those gathered, beating them and arresting 12 people.


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Local people came out onto the streets of Mashhad (Iran) recently, chanting slogans such as "The economic mafia must be exposed" and "Incompetent government, resign, resign" and wanted the Ahmadinejad government to resign. Over 200 were arrested.

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Despite the heavy presence of the Iranian regime’s security forces at Tehran University today’s Students’ Day commemoration went ahead as planned. Around 500 students and left-wing activists took part in the event - with just 24 being arrested.
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