5th IMCWP, Contribution of Tudeh Party of Iran

6/19/03 11:59 AM
  • Iran, Tudeh Party of Iran 5th IMCWP En Asia Communist and workers' parties

Athens Meeting 19-20 June 2003, Contribution by Tudeh
Party of Iran
From: SolidNet
http://www.tudehpartyiran.org, mailto:
by Navid Shomali


The Central Committee of the Tudeh Party of Iran is
honoured to participate in this important international
meeting of the Communist and workers parties to develop our
role within the movements against the war and globalization
and discuss the most effective ways of developing
co-operation and co-ordination of our efforts.

Allow me to express the deep gratitude of the Tudeh Party
of Iran to the Communist Party of Greece for facilitating
and hosting this event and creating favourable conditions
for our discussion to take place. I would like to convey
to the fraternal Communist Party of Greece the whole-
hearted greetings and wishes of the Tudeh Party of Iran for
their success in the struggle for socialism in Greece.

The main theme of our discussion is the response of the
communist movement to the current global crisis, "the
second wave of globalization" as some would like to
suggest, the ever increasing military dictatorial approach
of the US to international relations and the monumental
challenge facing the progressive forces the world over in
order to provide an alternative.

This presentation will mainly concentrate on the effects of
the current world crisis in our highly sensitive and
volatile Middle East region.

Let me start by referring to how Anthony Giddens, one of
the key advocate of "globalization" described it in 1990:
"the intensification of worldwide social relations which
link distant localities in such a way that local happenings
are shaped by events occurring many miles away and vice
versa." He has recently further elaborated his ideas by
stating that the conflict now underway between the United
States and some extremist fundamentalists was inevitable.
"Cosmopolitans welcome technology and cultural diversity,
while fundamentalists find it disturbing and dangerous."

So are we to understand from the current status of the
world that the US drive to dominate the world, to break
every international treaty, including banning the
developments of nuclear weapons, other Weapons of Mass
Destruction, and treaties on trade and environment, to
destroy the United Nations and to bully the world including
even its staunch allies in NATO or EU is all a conflict
between "cosmopolitanism" and "fundamentalism"?

Our answer to this question and many others posed to us by
those who try to find some justification or perhaps even to
humanise the current dangerous and disastrous policies are
clear. Behind the razzmatazz of the propaganda campaign
waged to sell us this vision we see a different reality. We
see dangerous trends creeping in and threatening the
democratic rights and freedoms of individuals and societies
every where.

The events of the past two years should be sounding alarm
bells for all those who care about humanity and the future
of future generations.

The reality is that following the Sept. 11 terrorist
attacks, world progressive forces warned against the use of
this tragedy by the US to impose its absolute hegemony over
the world and to set a new dangerous precedent where a
military superpower ignores all international laws, the
United Nations and even the UN Security Council in pursuit
of its own narrow economic, political and military

The policy of war carried out in the Iraq and now
threatening other countries of the region including Iran is
clear indication of this new dangerous world situation. It
is interesting that despite the active protests of tens of
millions of peace and freedom loving people throughout the
world the US military machine unleashed its deadly power
against a small country with catastrophic human costs.

The clumsy US and British attempts to provide a rationale
for the military action have made clear that the war was
aimed neither to rid Iraq of weapons of mass destruction
nor to "liberate" the Iraqi people from a savage
dictatorial regime guilty of horrific crimes against its
own people.
In our view the war against Iraq was an integral part of
the US strategy to accelerate the process of globalization
and to consolidate the "New World Order", first declared in
early 1990's.

Dear Comrades;

This strategy proclaimed as its central objective the
so-called right of the USA to access raw materials and
labour power on a global scale. The new world order would
not include any no go areas for US capital. From Russia to
the Middle East, from the Middle East to the Indian sub
continent, from the Indian sub continent across the Pacific
Ocean, the US and its allies should have freedom of

Such unrestrained capitalist expansionism is wrapped in the
cloak of western style democracy. Nations and nation
states would be allowed to develop as long as that
development did not threaten or restrict the needs and
ambitions of US trans-national corporations.
Transgressions against this dogma would quickly hear the
rattling of US sabres and the launch of gunboat diplomacy.

Almost a decade and a half since the defeat of the world
socialist system, the new world order is beginning to look
threadbare and exposed as the final stage of imperialist
expansionism. Peoples and nations are no longer easily
ready to accept the right of the United States and its
allies to protect their economies and social systems at the
expense of others.

In all continents new movements of opposition have been
formed, or are forming to challenge the basic principles of
the new order. Religious fundamentalism, anarchism as well
ultra leftism have in some countries been able to fill the
vacuum of protest, where the forces of the working class
are either demoralised, disorganised or oppressed. However
there are strong indications of the protests and resistance
to US hegemony gaining a mass basis as new forces gather
strength and begin to see through the rapacious ambitions
of trans-national capitalism.

This was witnessed in the mass protests, including many
organised working class elements in the anti-war movement
earlier this year. In every continent all sections of
society were united in the opposition to the naked
aggression launched against the Iraqi people under the
disguise of liberating them from the fascist terror, under
which they had suffered for 30 years. Only at the point
where the Iraqi Baathist regime was no longer either stable
or able to be manipulated did the US consider "liberating"
the people of Iraq. Until that time Saddam Hussein was an
arms length ally in protecting US interests in the middle
east by dividing the Arab world and as a bulwark against
the theocratic dictatorship in Iran.

The West's hypocrisy in launching its assault on Iraq,
possibly more than any other act of aggression during the
last decade has been exposed to millions around the world
and has helped broaden the basis for anti-globalization
protest and development. The labour movements in France,
Italy, Greece and other western European countries have
also been thrust into the frontline, not only against the
war, but also most recently in defence of social provision
and living standards in their own countries and throughout
the European Union.

This exposes the central contradiction at the current stage
of world capitalist development. Unfettered movement of
capital has not guaranteed living standards even in the
West. Provision for older people, the rights of women and
children, the national characteristics of culture are all
being eroded under the drive for greater profits. In
developing nations, natural resources and labour power have
been easy prey. Cheap labour is now one of the main
exports to the developed world, and the under-developed
world is increasingly manipulated to consume the surplus
production of the West. Growing impoverishment and
insecurity is the net result.

Against this background the rise of terrorist reaction is
almost inevitable, however, as in past periods of modern
history, terrorism is the easiest form of resistance to be
manipulated in the interest of the very forces to which it
directs its assaults. From the assassination of tsar
Alexander II in Russia in the earlier part of the 20th
century, to the Islamic fundamentalist global threats to
life and liberty, these actions only provide a pretext for
greater and more extensive economic and military reactions
by the forces of globalization.

The challenge therefore for all progressive forces, is to
build upon the growing resistance by creating a secular
resistance and alliance, which can unite the broadest cross
section of the population. In this respect the traditional
forces of the organised working class have a key role to

Dear Comrades;

Communists need to understand the dynamics of the present
"anti globalization movement" and some of its inherent
weaknesses such as its single issue dimenssion, distrust of
traditional political structures, reluctance to become
involved in political struggles. Our role is to engage
with "anti globalization movement" as an integral part of
it and address such issues as above without undermining the
mass basis of the movement.

The role of communists in the movement is to explain that
although globalization is not synonemous with war, but the
form of globalization which capitalism or indeed monetarism
produces, is.

There is a degree of inevitability about the wars developed
by the US and Britain, especially now. For both countries
wars have become a political and economic necessity,
because of the monetarist policies at the heart of their
government. Another key factor in the calculation is
Israel. Israel, Britain and the US all have economies in
crisis, all are deeply committed to monetarism which is
exacerbating their crisis and all have foreign policies
which are based on military coercion.

The Bush administration is horrendous but we should
remember Carter began the war against the people of
Afghanistan and Al Gore was set to pursue essentially the
same policies as the Bush administration. Of course there
are differences and the individuals in power do make a
difference but we are looking at immense underlying forces
which make a huge difference, regardless of those

"Globalization" is a word that is used to describe a
process. Capitalist institutions have become more powerful
and more influential that even very substantial governments
in the world and it is they who are defining what direction
the world economy is taking. Monetrism argues that
government influence over the society should be reduced to
a minimum allowing the "market" to define how societies
develop, evolve and interact. But the `market' functions
only within the context of an economic environment which is
defined by government. Large capitalist companies press
government to structure that environment in their favour.

But these capitalist institutions have power in this way
because they own governments -- especially the US

In 1957 the US invaded Guatemala at the behest of the
United Fruit Company and imposed a military dictatorship --
the violent and unstable nature of the government they
imposed coined the phrase "banana republic". The companies
will act to have a country wrecked to serve their needs but
it is the US government which does the wrecking.

Important Role of Communist Parties

There are a number of variables over which we do have some
control. There are a number of aspects of the ideological
struggle which the communist parties do have the ability to
intervene decisively in.

It isn't pre-determined or inevitable that a certain
country to cause war. The process can be influenced and
wars prevented, especially in western capitalist countries.
The issue is to what degree the communist parties there are
able to influence the slogans and tactics of the anti war

Based on our correct and dynamic understanding of Marxism
we can project the message that rampant free marketeering
is not the only way things can happen. That there is an
alternative free from war, economic crisis and
exploitation. The economic crisis of Britain, US and Israel
etc. has accelerated the drive for war but war is a
political possibility because of the weakness of the
movement for peace and against war, because the alternative
is not yet appreciated by the masses.

A key part of this process has to be the presentation of a
sophisticated alternative to capitalism based on the needs
of working class struggle. The major, vital, overwhelming
task then has to be to develop a comprehensive explanation
which can present an alternative to monetarism.

This calls for the development of a coherent peace movement
for which the effective and strategic contribution of the
communist party is vital.

New opportunities for mass resistance now exist on a
global scale, and the left and communist forces face the
challenge of leadership and consolidation, utilising
traditional forms of protest and organisation with new
methods of struggle, e.g. the World Wide Web (WWW), audio
and digital technology and intervention in the social
cultural and economic struggles around the world.

At present, the US is turning its attentions to other
states it sees as part of the "axis of evil". North Korea,
Syria and Iran head the list. The threats by the US
administration against Syria and Iran are clearly
irresponsible that could engulf the entire region in war
and destruction.
In George Bush's home state of Texas, a popular car bumper
sticker is now being eagerly sought by his jingoistic
supporters. It reads alarmingly: "Boys go to Baghdad, the
men go to Tehran". It may be an expression of the crudest
form of warmongering, however it also reflects the
manipulation of US public opinion behind economic and
military expansionism.

There should be no illusions a US led military strike
against Iran would be catastrophic, not only for the
soldiers involved on both sides, but also for the movement
for peace, progress and democracy the world over.

As you know Iran has been going through tremendous changes
in recent years. The election of Mohammad Khatami, who
promised democracy and the establishment of a civic
society, in May 1997 presidential election, was a clear
demonstration of popular desire for radical reforms. While
supporting any reform effort, our party pointed out that it
is an illusion to think that a democratic government and a
civic society could be achieved within the present despotic
theocratic power structure. Six years later, it is clear
that Mr. Khatami is unable to carry out his reform program
under the current power structures, which gives him, as
elected president, very little leverage against non-elected
bodies and the supreme religious leader. The indecisive and
conciliatory approaches of Mr. Khatami have allowed
reaction to strengthen its position and to organize an
onslaught against the reform process, resulting in arrests
of hundreds intellectuals, students, editors of reformist
newspapers and political activists.

The March 2003 local council elections, boycotted by over
80 percent of the electorate in main cities like Tehran,
showed that the people have very little faith in the system
being able to fulfil their demand for democracy and social
justice. In the last six years our party has stressed that
social forces such as youth, students and women -- and
particularly the working class and its allies -- are the
main forces for change. Until the progressive movement can
overcome its lack of organization and united action,
reaction can overcome any attempts to dislodge it.

The key question that needs to be asked here is whether the
US policy of threats and war against the Islamic Republic
is in favour of our peoples' movement for democracy? The
clear and short answer to this question is NO. The US
policy has in fact strengthened the hands of the right wing
reactionary forces branding any socio-political opposition
as an american led move and therefore justifying its savage
suppression. The recent student demonstrations in
universities campuses in Tehran and other cities is a good
example. While it is clear that there is genuine anti
regime feelings amongst the nearly 2 million student
population of our country, the regime has used its
paramilitary organs, including the plain clothe Hezbolah
zealots to attack students dormitories and by provoking
unrest and then blaming USA for it, preparing the ground
for a full crack down of the reform movement.

Although the theocratic regime is experiencing
fragmentation and disarray, Iran is not Iraq and differs in
many crucial respects. US led forces in Iran would not
face a demoralised opposition as they did in Iraq. In
addition Iran is a bigger country with an overwhelmingly
youthful population and is a much more complex society
which will not easily submit to US military aggression.

Of course the United States official attitude to Iran
differs little from that of pre-war Iraq or Afghanistan.
It is desperately seeking rogue elements which it can
support covertly and which if they can gain sufficient
ground could avoid the need for open military conflict.
The ex shah's son, Reza Pahlavi, together with other right
wing opportunist elements are being courted to form a
pro-US Iranian opposition.

This is a bankrupt strategy which seeks to impose so called
democratic settlements on individual states. In Iraq the
strategy is already falling apart, and in Iran and
Palestine it is unlikely to fair much better. Only by
supporting the genuine forces of democracy can the
instability of Iran and any other country be overcome.
This requires respect for the rights of self determination
of all peoples and an end to the interference in the
internal affairs of nation states under the disguise of
anti-terrorist action.

The progressive forces in Iran are rightly against the US
provocations and condemned them outright. Our party has
called for the adoption of a responsible policy not to
further escalate tension and provide pretext to the Bush
administration for military actions. We believe the plight
of the Iran and its future government should only be
decided by the Iranian people and their progressive and
democratic forces and no externally manipulated

So what do we need to do? What is the effective strategy
that the progressive movement could adopt?

Our view is that the struggle against the war world wide
was a tremendous achievement. Tens of millions of peace
loving people united to oppose an imperialist imposed war.
The anti war movement visibly rattled the war mongers. But
more importantly the creation of such a global mass
movement showed that right wing reactionary forces across
the world advocating such policies are more than ever
before isolated. The creation of this mass movement with
clear anti-globalization message and anti global capitalism
leaning is an indication of what the progressive movement
through out the world is capable of achieving. We need to
work closely together to formulate our common response to
the threat facing the entire humanity. The communist and
workers movements throughout the world have a historic
responsibility to take a leading and active role in this

It is only through the continuous strengthening of the mass
movement through development of its collective
understanding and slogans that we can ensure that the US
attempts to roll out its "New World Order" will be even
more strongly and globally resisted.