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Iran: 32nd anniversary of the Amol uprising
3 February 2014. A World to Win News Service. Never have the events in the wake of the Iranian revolution of 1979 and their lessons been more relevant than they are today. In that year an enormous, prolonged mass upsurge led to the overthrow of the Iranian monarch, Reza Shah Pahlavi, whose regime was a cornerstone of U.S. domination in the Middle East. But in 1981, the ecstasy of the revolutionary period gave way to a counter-revolutionary coup led by Ayatollah Khomeini.
This new regime was not able to consolidate its hold on the country all at once. After a period in which it was able to repress the mass movement and spread demoralization, revolutionary ferment aimed against Islamic rule began to come to a boil again in the winter of 1981. In the summer of 1982, the Union of Communists of Iran, the predecessor to today’s Communist Party of Iran (Marxist-Leninist-Maoist), began preparing for an armed insurrection, which took place in January 1982 in the northern city of Amol.
A small body of armed men and women revolutionaries who called themselves Sarbedaran were able to seize the city, to the joy of an increasing number of ordinary masses. The regime was forced to deploy ground and air forces from all over the country. It retook the city after several days of fighting. The attempt to hunt down people who had helped plan the uprising or who had come to its aid went on for a long time afterwards. Later in that decade the regime executed tens of thousands of communists and revolutionaries and plunged the country into a long period of darkness. The communist-led revolution failed, but it represented the only way out, and Iranian communists are determined that its lessons lead to a successful revolution.
The following statement entitled “History has proven who are the real imperialist lackeys” was issued on the occasion of the 32nd anniversary of the Amol uprising by the CPI(MLM).
About 30 years ago, comrade Behrooz Fathi – a leader of the Union of Iranian Communists (Sarbedaran) and one of the Amol insurrectionists – while under arrest and savage torture by the Islamic rulers – shot back at his interrogators who accused the Union of Communists of Iran and the armed insurrection of Sarbedaran in Amol of being an “American” project: “History will prove who are the real imperialist lackeys!”
For the revolutionary communists who had organized and led the Sarbedaran insurrection, it was clear that the “anti-imperialism” of the Islamic reactionary ruling regime in Iran was nothing but the imposition of a more horrendous version of the same system of oppression and exploitation that existed under the Shah, while adding to it religious obscurantism and religious tyranny.
Over the last 34 years the Islamic Republic of Iran has proven that its rulers never ventured outside the capitalist-imperialist system. The IRI’s ideological roots and social programme go back as far as 1,400 years in history, but nevertheless this regime brought the totality of economic life of Iran into the world network of the capitalist-imperialist system even more fully than the Shah. By carrying out super-exploitation of the lives of more than 70 million people, this regime has delivered unimaginable wealth to the imperialist system. While trumpeting its “anti imperialism” it has been tightening its links with the world system and today it has prepared to enter into unity and solidarity with the imperialist powers more openly in order to maintain its lifeline which is dependent on the world capitalist system.
Indeed history has proven who are the real lackeys of imperialism!
The Islamic Republic’s “anti-imperialism” was on the one hand a bargaining process with the imperialist powers in order to consolidate the position of the Islamist strata of the comprador-feudal class of Iran and on the other hand its aim was to impose outmoded Islamic ideology, morality, culture and values in opposition to the equally outmoded ideology and values that the Shah’s regime had imposed on the society with the help of the imperialists. This opposition was thoroughly and totally reactionary, and the rule of the theocratic regime in Iran, a regime which has mixed state and religion, has been among the main sources of unprecedented degeneration and backwardness in the social relations among the people, including the intensification of the oppression of women and the spread of old culture and values, ignorance and superstition by leaps and bounds.
The Islamic Republic inaugurated its system with a crackdown on a rising of women against imposition of Islamic morality and traditions; with the suppression of the just struggles of the oppressed nations in Khuzestan, Kurdistan and Turkmen-Sahara; by attacking freedom of thought and artistic creation and the revolutionary movements of the workers and toiling masses of Iran; and it consolidated its regime with the massacre of the enlightened vanguards of the people whom it had captured – the political prisoners. It was against this regime that the Union of Communists of Iran called upon the people in 1981 to rise up and join the insurrection. The October 1981 statement of Sarbedaran called:
“Oh People of Iran! … The Islamic Republic, Khomeini and his cohorts, are nothing but an ensemble of clerical filth, tyranny and bullying. The fraudulent Khomeini has restored the despotic monarchy in its religious version and upon the tortured and mutilated bodies of our young revolutionaries. The regime of the whip and the gallows of Khomeini and company sheds the blood of hundreds of youth and teens, men and women and even the children of our people every day. The sounds of the gunning down of people in the Islamic Republic’s countless prisons and detention centres are often and all over…
“The monstrosity and crimes of Khomeini and his band have made the whole nation mournful and pushed the country towards complete decadence and collapse. The regime of ignorance, arrogance and back-biting of this swindler old fox has brought stagnation and destruction to industry, agriculture, science and national culture and destroyed individual and social security and well-being in our country…
“Oh worker comrades! Toiling brothers and sisters of every city and the countryside!… Let us stand up with one heart and united! Fear not the hollow browbeating and empty artillery and gunfire of this bunch of wicked hoodlums. We must burn down throne and courts of this rude bunch that have in their brainless heads a dream of monarchical rule.”
The defeat of the Sarbedaran insurrection and revolutionary struggles in other parts of the country, especially in Kurdistan, meant consolidation of the Islamic regime. Despite the 32 years that have passed since the defeat of the Sarbedaran insurrection, its memory, lessons and historical call still resonates. This means that the only road to liberation is through the overthrow of the Islamic Republic system in its totality and the establishment of a radically different and new political power and state – a state that not only does not belong to the capitalist class and its servants and is not based on any of the ideological-cultural institutions, values and traditions of this class, but aims to uproot all this and has a completely opposite class character to the ruling reaction. The name of this state is the dictatorship of the proletariat and it aims to rely on the conscious masses of people and annihilate and uproot all forms of oppression, discrimination, exploitation, ignorance and suppression.
Thirty-two years after the Sarbedaran insurrection, the necessity of a revolutionary movement for the overthrow of the Islamic Republic and the establishment of a proletarian state continues – a challenge before the society, especially its communist forces. That lesson is that without seizing political power, all is illusion, and that seizing political power is impossible without the leadership of a revolutionary communist party with a correct political and ideological line.
The lessons of the defeat of the revolution of 1979 as well as the Sarbedaran insurrection clearly demonstrate that without the intervention of the revolutionary communist forces, forces with a revolutionary vision and programme, there will never be a change in the situation that will bring the emancipation of the people, and the situation of society will go from bad to worse. If we, the revolutionary communists, fail to play our role in the intense and increasing crisis in this society and in the world, again and again the reactionary forces of one kind or another will occupy the scene and become the main players.
In order to carry out this urgent historic task today, more than ever we need a solid core of revolutionary communists equipped with the highest achievements and levels of understanding of the international communist movement, who can become, in Iran as well as the region, the principal players on the political stage.
In the 1980s a just war for the overthrow of the Islamic Republic was initiated by Sarbedaran, which represented the interests of the majority of the people of Iran against the reactionaries – capitalism-imperialism and Islamism. The realization of those goals and political tasks continues to be the only way for the emancipation of the majority of the people of this society. That emancipation depends on the forces that have a new understanding and awareness of the liberatory character of the future society and are preparing the revolution – a revolution of the kind of the socialist revolutions of the 20th century in Russia and China but at the same time very different from them and unprecedented in the human history.
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