Iran

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 This is an interview (conducted on July 2nd 2009) with Arash, an Iranian socialist, which was originally made to explain the situation in Iran to an Indonesian audience.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.