Iran

On countless occasions since June 2009, we have seen the potential power of the Iranian people, with numerous protests that have brought hundreds of thousands onto the streets of Tehran and other cities across the country. The pinnacle of the movement so far was the two-day long protest during Ashura in late December 2009, when millions directly challenged the power of the state, occupying police stations and taking control of central areas of the capital. At this point it looked like the Iranian regime was on the verge of collapse.

On the anniversary of last year’s rigged elections in Iran, there were demonstrations on the streets of Iranian cities, in particular in Tehran. But while the youth in particular organised for the day, the so-called “leaders” like Mousavi did what they could to weaken the movement by declaring at the last minute that he was calling off the rallies. This highlights one very important factor: lack of leadership and organisation. That is what is now being discussed in many underground circles and among exiles.

Last year a powerful movement erupted in Iran that shook the hated Islamic fundamentalist regime to its very foundations. All the conditions were present for a successful revolutionary overthrow of the regime. What was lacking, however, was the active participation of the working class as an organised force and, most importantly, a conscious, revolutionary leadership of the movement.

The Ashura uprising marked the beginning of a new phase in the movement of the Iranian masses that started last June. At the time we wrote that a point of no return had been crossed and that it was becoming increasingly apparent for vast active layers of the masses that the movement had to first of all topple the Islamic Republic with its state apparatus and military machinery. Ironically, the so called green movement have been seemingly in a lull ever since.

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.