I would like to take this opportunity, on behalf of the Central Committee of the Tudeh Party of Iran, to thank the fraternal Communist Party of Turkey and Communist Party of Greece for jointly organising the 21st International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties amidstchallenging conditions. I would like to thank them for the excellent planning, and provision of facilities for holding, of our meeting. Allow me to also thank them and all fraternal parties present for their solidarity with the people of Iran in their struggle for peace, democracy and social justice.
The 21st IMCWP marks the 100th anniversary of the formation of the Communist International in 1919. This took place in the aftermath of the destructive imperialist First World War and at a time of crisis in global capitalism and imperialist expansionism. It was formed to unite and coordinate the struggle the of the global working class following the victory of the Great October Socialist Revolution in 1917, which inspired and encouraged revolutionaries around the world to develop and advance their own struggle for peace, progress and socialism.
However, the Communist International was a continuation of the work of Marx and Engels who established the International Communist League in 1847 and sought during the 19th century to strengthen the emerging international movement of communists and their allies in the struggle for peace and socialism.
It aimed to further the interests of the global working class and encourage resistance to imperialist domination across the world,emphasising the central significance of the role of the working class and its revolutionary vanguard in the struggle for socialism. One hundred years after the October Revolution the fundamental reasons for the global struggle for socialist transformation and the resolution of the contradiction between Labour and Capital remain the key objectives of class struggle between the capitalist class and a united working class across the world for decent working and living conditions, for socialism and ultimately a communist classless society. The joint efforts of the Communist and Workers’ parties of the world are essential to this crucial struggle.
The 21st IMCWP takes place at a time when global capitalism is still grappling with the social and economic consequences of the systemic crisis which started in 2008. Not only are growth rates across the advanced capitalist economies persistently negligible, politically we are witnessing the emergence and dangerous offensive of neo-fascist forces.
Four decades of neoliberal economic dominance has resulted in the most widespread, severe inequalities internationally, militarisation, imperialist aggression, and the rise of ultra-right forces, from the US and Brazil to Central Europe and India.
The Tudeh Party of Iran believes that, in today’s circumstances,an important aspect of our struggle for progressive fundamental changes and socialism, is the participation of a broadening spectrum of social forces opposed to capitalist exploitation of humanity and the plundering of natural resources. We are witnessing growing movements everywhereagainst austerity, corruption and inequality, and fordemocratic and human rights and freedoms,together with movements against race and gender discrimination and popular campaigns for the protection of the environment and to save planet Earth. The joint effort ofsocially progressive forces,radical young people and studentsprotestingabout environmental degradation by predatory capitalism is very significant.
In our view, a key objective for communists in both the national and international arenas of struggle is to ensure that these progressive movements are integrated into the struggle against monopoly capitalism and for a socialist world.
Over the course of the 20thcentury and into the 21st century the communist movement has been an important force in the struggle for peace and against a spectrum of reactionary forces. Today, we are living in a very dangerous world in which the survival of humanity is threatened by capitalism. And once again, it is the communists together with other progressive forces that are leading the struggle against war and militarism and are standing up for freedom against the reactionary pro-imperialist forces, including those ofobscurantism, theocracy,chauvinismand neo-fascism.
Another aspect of the current world situation, especially with respect to the strategically vital Middle East region, has been the emergence and dominancesince the early 1980s of reactionary, undemocratic and oppressive regimes.
The advent of political Islam in the Middle East and North Africa has been an indirect consequence of the bringing downof the socialist governments in the former Soviet Union and countries of Eastern Europe in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The weakening of the political left in the Middle East and the absence of a strong coherent global counterbalance provided the forces of ‘political Islam’ with a space in which to operate,qualitatively altering the balance of forces in the region.
Since the 1980s, these forces have played a dual role within the framework of imperialist policies- as forces subservient to imperialism and as reactionary, belligerent anti-western ones. Whatever its role, however, ‘political Islam’ has adversely impacted the struggle for peace and progress and has been instrumental in imperialist militarisation and the continuation of catastrophic wars.
Under the banner of ‘political Islam,’ a spectrum of fundamentalist Islamist forces hasemerged in the Middle East and elsewhere that have had a profoundly destructive and reactionary impact on the political, social and economic lives of many nations. The forces of ‘political Islam’, have in certain instances taken on a belligerent but superficial anti-imperialist guisewhile at the same time brutally imposing anantiquatedtheocratic rule. They are violently opposedto secularism, human rights, democracyand gender equality. They are fiercely anti-socialist, and their socio-economic outlook is blatantly reactionary. In the final analysis,these forces aremainly pro-capitalist and anti-working classand their policies have facilitatedthe accumulation of astronomical levels of private wealth through corruption andfinancial scams, as we have witnessed firsthand in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
With regards to the role of Islamic Fundamentalism in the global arena, the current situation in the Persian Gulf is instructive. Over the past few months, we have seen a dangerous escalation of tensions that has threatened our region with the possibility of catastrophic military conflicts. The people of Iran are facing inhumane, imperialist economic sanctionsand are threatened withUS military aggression backed bythe reactionary regime in Saudi Arabia and the racist Israeli government.At the same time,Iran is ruled by a repressive theocracy that fiercely opposes and suppresses any attempt by the working people and progressive forces to organise an effective anti-war movement in the country to defend peace.
Thus, the struggle of the people of Iran for peace, democratic freedoms and rights and social justice is negatively impacted by the vicious economic and banking sanctions imposed by the US administration and its allies, accompanied by the constant threat of military confrontation. The US and its allies in the region make no secret of pursuing ‘regime change’ in Iran byexerting severe pressure on its economy although they have signaled that they can also work with a “cooperating regime in Iran” subservient to US interests in Middle East.
The main victims of the sinister actions and threats of the US and its allies arethe working people and the marginalised population of Iran. The US objective is to create mass disorder and social breakdown in order to hijack the growing protest movement of the Iranian people against the ruling theocracy, which is manifested through daily strikes and protests demanding basic social rights, freedom of expression, lower prices, decent social services, payment of unpaid wages, jobs and job security, right to form and join trade unions, and the reversal of the privatisation of key industries.
In keeping its options open,the US is propping up pro-imperialist ‘political alternatives’ nurtured by the State Department and CIAAmong these are the monarchists, seeking restoration of a shah,and the pro-imperialist Islamic Mojahedin-e-Khalq Organisation (NCRI/MEK/PMOI). These are highly anti-democratic forces and lack any meaningful support amongworking people, but they are financially and politically supported by the US and its regional allies and have been directly lobbying for US military intervention in Iran to topple the current regime. One of the major tasks of the Tudeh Party of Iran and other progressive national democratic forces has been to fight and expose this devious policy of the US administration.
Following the end of the Iran-Iraq war, in order to facilitate the accumulation of private capital domestically and laying the ground for the global corporations to plunder the wealth of Iran, all successivegovernments of theIslamic Republic of Iran, with the support of the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, havefacilitated three decades of IMF-based neoliberal restructuring with a devastating effect on the working people and the environment.
As the pressures on people's livelihoods have intensified, the response of the theocratic regime has been to suppress, imprison, humiliate, and intimidate workers and trade union and civil rights activists. In recent years, with the continued growth of various forms of protest movements, the people have come to understand the importance of linking their strugglesfor economic justice with the struggle for democratic freedoms and the protection of the environment. The struggle for setting up independent trade unions is growing in Iran and is now considered as a national security threat by the ruling theocratic regime.
The Tudeh Party of Iran would like to state categorically that the people’s movement in Iran needs the support and solidarity of the international communist and workers’parties in preventing imperialist interventions in Iran and in defense of the people’s struggle for democracy and social justice. The workingclass in Iran is opposed by its nature to the neoliberal policies of the ruling theocracy and plays aleadingpart inthe nationwide struggle for peace, democracy and social justice. The working-class movement is developing continually under the banner of ‘Bread, Jobs and Freedom’.
The Tudeh Party of Iran believes that the ‘economic war’ waged by the US against Iran will ultimately lead to military conflict with devastating impactson the people of Iran and other nations in the Persian Gulf region. Equally important are the miscalculations of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s leadership of the international balance of forces. The Iranian regime fails to understand that the imperialist countries, while competing, are generally united in protecting the interests of global capitalism. Iran’s economy is a weak rentier, import-dependent and non-productive one which has been hollowed out duringthree decades of neoliberal restructuring. Its productive forces have been squandered and sacrificed for profiteering.
The reality is that after thirty yearsof blind adherence to the prescriptions of the World Bank and IMF by the Iranian regime in order to operatea neoliberal economic model,the US administrationis now able to take Iran’s weak economy hostage.No amount of baseless and superficial anti-western or anti-imperialist pretensionor militaristic posturing can change this objective reality and its consequences.
The only way to protect the interests of the Iranian people is the reduction of tensions through diplomatic negotiations combined with the widest mobilisation of peace movements in Iran and across the globe. The military option must be taken off the table by all sides.
The Communist Partyof Iran was founded almost 100 years ago in 1920 and its progressive transformative agenda has been continued overthe last 78 years by the Tudeh Party of Iran with a profound effect in our country. We continue our struggle for peace and socialism with an objective understanding of the current stage of the socio-economic development and class struggle in our country. Our primary task in the current complicated and dangerous situation is to defend peace by any and all means and at the same time to elevate the movement of the working people of Iranin its struggle for democratic freedoms and social justice - that is why we say ‘No to Inhumane Sanctions, No to War, and No to Dictatorship’. In advancing this important task we seek the international solidarity of all thecommunist and workers parties and all progressive forces across the world.
We are confident that Iranian working people and their political vanguard will be successful in the class struggle for a socialist future, against war and oppression, and for world peace.
The Tudeh Party of Iran
15 October 2019