Address of the Tudeh Party of Iran, 20th IMCWP
Athens 23 – 25 November 2018
May I take this opportunity, on behalf of our Party’s Central Committee, to thank our fraternal Communist Party of Greece for facilitating the 20th International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties. I also would like to take this opportunity to congratulate our Greek comrades on the 100th anniversary of the KKE and wish them success in their struggle. Also allow me to thank all fraternal parties for their solidarity with the people of Iran in their struggle for peace, democracy and social justice.
The 20th IMCWP coincides with the bicentenary of the birth of Karl Marx, whose teachings still guide and influence our analyses of events and struggle to change the world in the interest of the exploited. Ever since its foundation, our party has been guided by Marx’s principles, Leninism and scientific outlook and has based its analysis on the objective conditions of Iranian society as it develops, ensuring that our policies adhere to and facilitate its transition through the historical stages towards socialism. The ongoing struggle of the TPI is aimed at securing strategically important national-democratic transformations in Iran that will enable the working class to successfully move towards the next stage of this transition.
The 20th IMCWP is also taking place at a time whenprogressive forces globally face very serious and complex challenges. The rise of the ultra-right and neo-fascism, emboldened by Trump and his nationalist brand, presents a serious challenge for communist and workers parties throughout the world.
While the world media pays attention to the vulgar nature of Trump and his brand of presidency, its reality can best be described as a massive drive toward militarism and ultra-right anti-people policies. The US Senate voted in June this year to give the US military $716 billion for 2019 - one of the biggest defence budgets in modern American history. This decisive move towards aggressive militarism is also combined with a new brand of gunboat diplomacy; threatening other countries and even international organisations to obey US diktat or face the consequences. Even the US’ European allies are being told to tow the line and follow Washington’s policy.
Clearly, the drive by the Trump administration, on behalf of US monopoly capital - and especially the military-industrial complexes - to brutally impose US hegemony globally will bring about political instability, military tension and turmoil internationally. The Communist and Workers Parties have a significant challenge to build a broad anti-imperialist alliance to combat such serious threats to the future development of our planet.
On 5 November, the Trump administration re-imposed far reaching economic sanctions against our country, which will have serious consequences for the ordinary people of Iran. The US leaders have made it clear that their ultimate intention is to bring the country to its knees and facilitate “regime change”. Let me make our Party’s position very clear here. The destiny of Iran and its people and their struggle against the dictatorial regime can be determined by the Iranian people alone. No progressive and democratic force in our country will tolerate or support any foreign intervention in Iran. The Tudeh Party of Iran has strongly condemned the imposition of these inhumane sanctions and, alongside other progressive forces, will strongly oppose any future intervention in Iran’s internal affairs.
The Iranian regime, despite its rhetoric is a capitalist regime, whose neoliberal policies over the past three decades - fully supported and indeed praised by the World Bank and IMF - have pushed millions of Iranians into poverty a life of hardship un-paralleled in our recent history. Rampant inflation, especially the rise in the price of basic commodities; massive unemployment, particularly amongst the youth (as high as 50% in some provinces according to official estimates); and the continued suppression of the peoples' democratic rights and freedom, have pushed our country to the point of social explosion in anger against the rule of political Islam. In January 2018, we witnessed massive protests in 80 cities across Iran and despite its brutal suppression peoples protests and particularly workers' protests in various industries and cities continue across the country.
In recent weeks we have been witnessing significant workers’ and teachers’ protests across Iran. In the “Hafttabeh” Industrial Complex in the south of Iran, the workers’ strike is at the end of its third week, with workers protesting months of delayed wages and a worsening economic situation. In recent days industrial workers from “Navard Ahvaz” and other parts of the country have joined in strikes to show their solidarity. Prior to this, teachers held sit-ins and strikes across the country. In every case, workers’ and teachers’ protests have been met with brute force and the arrest of many activists.
In the TPI’s view, to effectively safeguard Iran from external interference and the imposition of a pro-US regime, the progressive forces must unite and form a broad anti-dictatorial front. Our party believes it is the working class and its allies that can and should play a leading role in determining Iran’s future.
In August 2018, we marked the 30th anniversary of the massacre of 5000 political prisoners, which took place on the direct orders of Khomeini in the summer of 1988.The perpetrators of this crime murdered hundreds of the leaders, cadres, members, and sympathisers of our party, who were deemed a danger to the future of the regime. Almost the entire Politburo and the Central Committee of the Party, prominent political prisoners under the Shah’s regime for 25 years, intellectuals, academics, authors, translators, artists, trade unionists, workers representatives, and military officers, were amongst those executed.
Our Party believes that today, the best commemoration and tribute to the unparalleled and heroic sacrifices of those martyrs is to step up the joint struggle of all progressive forces of the nation to put an end to the rule of tyranny and to establish a democratic state in its place.
In this struggle, as always, we rely on the unswerving support and solidarity of the communist and workers parties around the world.
Victory to the struggle of working class and toilers for Peace, Social Justice and Socialism!
Long Live Proletarian Internationalism!