Nuclear Crisis or Crisis with a Nuclear Pretext
The following is the last of a four part article titled” Nuclear Crisis or Crisis with a Nuclear Pretext” written by Koorosh Modarresi, the leader of the WPI-Hekmatist and published in the party’s Farsi language weekly paper No 89, April14, 2006. The English translation of these articles will soon be produced as a separate pamphlet. KOMONIST
8. The framework of a communistic policy towards the war
Before dealing with our tasks vis-à-vis the war we must remind ourselves of several fundamental communist policies:
a. The fundamental question for us remains to be the immediate overthrow of the Islamic Republic and the establishment of a Socialist regime. Our policy still remains to be the ones that are stated in our Party programme, our policy discussions entitled paper “ The Iranian Revolution and the Tasks of the Communists”, and in our “Charter to Overthrow the Islamic Republic”. We, under no circumstances, share any common interests, on any issues, with the Islamic Republic. Therefore there can not be any situations where our main objectives could be compromised or sidelined. This is contrary to the approaches adopted by various nationalist trends, Islamic currents and the opportunist forces that are driven, by their patriotisms, towards the Islamic Republic and each other. Our Party would not deviate from its immediate aim of overthrowing the Islamic Republic and the establishment of a Socialist Government.
Neither the defence of the “motherland”, in the face of the foreign aggression, nor the defence of the territorial integrity or any other consideration will put us in a condescending position with the Islamic Republic. The political and social events will only change the environment in which we operate. Whether the US attacks Iran, or if an earthquake hits the country or mount Damavand erupts only the environment and the condition in which we carry out our activities changes not our objectives. Social events and developments either enhance our progress or hinder it.
The basis of our policy, in any event, remains to be a very active and planned activities aimed at seizing the power and organising and leading the socialist revolution. To this end we need to unite workers and people and change the balance of power in favour of the working class and the socialist revolution and in particular to strengthen the position of the Party. We, as a political party (in contrast to a charitable group) have followed such an approach during the invasion of Iran by Iraq in 1980, in the aftermath of the recent earthquake in Iran and in our approach to May Day rallies in recent years.
The US attack on Iran will undoubtedly further complicate our situation. The direct and indirect consequence of the US attack will result in the disintegration of the civil life in the country and the emergence of the nationalist and patriotic sentiments. The break out of war will be detrimental to the people and our movement while benefiting the nationalists, the Islamic Republic and various political gangsters.
In any case this is the condition under which we will have to operate. The essential thing for a Communist Party, for a Leninist Party, is first and foremost not to loose sight of its aim against a background of the most complicated and difficult conditions, and secondly to adopt the most creative initiatives and tactics to oust the Islamic Republic and seize the political power. This is what the “concrete analysis of the concrete conditions” is about. The US attack against Iran is that concrete condition that we must operate in. We, in Iran, must carry out a very active educational and publicity campaign and more importantly a very militant and active policy against the Islamic Republic. Engaging in an anti-war movement in Iran if it is not carried out within the overall policy of ousting the Islamic Republic; stopping it from interfering in people’s lives and shifting the balance of power in our favour will, in practice, serve the US policy and the right wing nationalist forces. The main thrust of our activities in Iran is to overthrow the regime and accomplish a socialist revolution. That is all. In this context any tactics and policies must only serve this purpose.
The immediate aims of the communist and libertarian parties and people in Iran regarding the war are different to those parties and people outside Iran. Outside Iran the main aim should be to prevent the US attack on Iran and taking on the US government and its allies. In Iran the main target of the people would be the Islamic Republic. Lack of understanding of this fact will mislead the working class and the ranks of the freedom loving people outside the country and will end up supporting their own governments. In Iran, focusing on the US aggression will send people to the support of the their own government. During the 1991 and 2003 war against Iraq such a misunderstanding resulted in total political confusion of the left in Iraq and the anti-war movement outside Iraq.
The mechanism for people in Iran to intervene in the current situation is through struggles to overthrow of the Islamic Republic. For the people outside Iran this mechanism is through stopping the US attack on Iran and the ousting of their own respective governments. In Iran people can not influence the US policy and abroad people’s scope to exert pressure on the Islamic Republic policies is limited. An active policy should recognise these strengths and weaknesses. Turning the US into the main concern in Iran and equally turning the Islamic Republic into the main preoccupation of people outside Iran is playing into the hands of the nationalists, the US and the Islamic Republic. Such approaches will deny people from full participation in campaigns to stop the war. Based on what has just been said our tasks inside and outside Iran are different but complementary. We will pursue two different policies in these two separate political geographies.
All shades of the right wing politics find the US attack on Iran an opportunity to advance, directly or indirectly, their own interests. Shy of calling for an outright war against Iran, these trends pursue their aims through calling for exerting political pressure on Iran. This is the banner under which all shades of the pro-west and modernist nationalists, from the monarchist to the new leadership of the Worker-communist Party of Iran are mobilised. These are timid warmongers.
The issue of the Islamic Republic can only be resolved by the people of Iran. The inherent contradiction of the interests of the people and in particular the working class with any political and military intervention by the US, in the context of the existing international climate, must extensively be exposed. We need to build a formidable barrier to the US warmongering. A good example of such an approach would be our policy towards the gulf war in 1991 and the subsequent developments in Iraqi Kurdistan. A review of our policy during that period would be most useful.
b. Guiding principles for a communistic policy
The departing point to develop our stance in this conflict is not to preoccupy ourselves with trying to identify the primary and secondary contradictions; the imperialists and anti-imperialist forces; conflict between progress and reaction; the sovereignty and the territorial integrity; patriotic fervours in support of the acquisition of nuclear technology; patriotism and indulgence in legal debates; the rights of the nations and not even the ousting of the Islamic Republic at any cost (e.g. with the help of the US).
We as members of a communist and an internationalist Party, and as a section of the workers’ movement, have distinct aims and objectives. The livelihood and the destiny of the toiling masses are at stake. The fate of the working class and a people who are trying to emerge from the suppression of the Islamic Republic and are about to oust it and create a better world, will be decided. The destiny of millions of people and several generations will be shaped.
The future shape of the contemporary world is being formed. Furthermore the future societies and our socialist state will also be affected by these developments. We have vested interests in all these. As always these clear and concrete interests are our guiding principles.
Military aggression or economic sanction against Iran is a direct assault against the people of Iran and their interests. Such an attack not only destroys the fabrics of the society but will also help to prolong the rule of the Islamic Republic. The US in pursuit of its imperialist interests is determined on imposing a bloody war on the people of Iran and the region. We condemn this open and naked aggression. Regardless of the issues surrounding the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, today it is the US and its interests that have put the world on the verge of a human catastrophe much larger than anything that we have seen so far. This policy is the continuation of the invasion of Iraq and the control over the waterways in the Persian gulf and the Red sea. With or without the UN support they invade and occupy other countries and plunge them into death and destruction. The world does not a police. They should be stopped.
What is important today, and everyone needs to take a stance on it, is not approval or disapproval of the Iranian regime’s attempts to acquire nuclear technology. The central issue is the long term interest of the US and its plan to maintain its global hegemony. To this end it is prepared to sacrifice millions of people in a war with horrific consequences for several generations to come. Overlooking this reality and focusing on the nuclear issue is to surrender to the imperialistic perspective and becoming a pawn in the service of the US propaganda war.
For the masses of people whose lives and livelihoods are being threatened by this war there is only one answer. This imminent war must be stopped at any costs. The US and its allies must be dissuaded from embarking on another carnage. None of the stated issues in this conflict can justify this catastrophe.
c. The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the US attack on Iran
We do not condemn non-compliance with the NPT by any states. We are not in favour of this treaty and are not a signatory to it. We find ourselves constantly at odds with this exclusive club and their bullying and blackmailing attitudes. International treaties have been adopted to regulate the capitalist states’ relationship. Compliance or non-compliance with these treaties does not warrant our approval or disapproval in itself. Preventing a country from acquiring nuclear weapons, while this treaty is not extended to all countries, and those that are in possession of nuclear weapons are constantly piling up their arsenal, is not sacrosanct for us. As far as we are concerned, preserving the right of access to nuclear weapons to the friends of the US government and denying it to unfriendly states does not constitute a sound basis to determine the rights of possessing nuclear weapons. There can not be different standards.
On the basis of what has been said above two concurring questions present themselves. Firstly how can we sustain the current movement to overthrow the Islamic Republic in the face of the US attack. And secondly how, within the current political situation, can we strengthen and expand the party as a means for uniting and fostering solidarity of the working class and people in general and move them a step closer to seizing the political power.
We should re-emphasis that our approach here again is based on our position stated in our discussion paper “The Revolution in Iran and the Tasks of the Communists”. The main points of that article, specifically if war breaks out, should be taken up and adopted. In that paper we pointed out the followings:
1- organising resistance against the disintegration of the society with emphasis on setting up units of Freedom Guards and taking control of districts and neighbourhoods. 2- Kurdistan is the gateway to power. Kurdistan should be brought under the political and organisational power of the communists. The creation of a mass armed political party in Kurdistan is plausible. 3- Organising and uniting the workers and toilers in the face of the unemployment and the treat of destitution. 4- Forming a revolutionary and militant movement against the IR ad for promoting political freedom and defending equality particularly equality between women and men. 5- Securing intellectual influence within the left and in the society. Defending and promoting Marxism and promoting interventionist communism against nationalism, opportunism and left-nationalism.
Therefore we must pursue a very active policy, in the first instance against the break out of the war and secondly, in the event of the war breaking out in relation to the war.
A. Our general political and Propagation tasks We must oppose the war and perpetrators of the war. We must patiently and boldly expose the real intentions of both sides of the war. We must persistently, thoroughly and actively, expose the policies and the approaches of the Islamic currents, the anti-imperialist nationalist forces and the pro-west nationalists. We must pay special attention to the following forces with a view to expose and isolate them:
- Forces that while opposing the war, or in the aftermath of the break out of the war, call on the proletariats and the people to support the regime or one of its factions. Expose the phoney and reactionary contend of all the patriotic and nationalistic demands and slogans - Forces that merely contend themselves with anti-regime position. Forces that are only interested in the “overthrow” of the regime at any costs and have no objection to the pro-west nationalist forces and their anti-regime activities advocating the downfall of the regime with the aide of the US. Forces that overlook the imperialist and new world order policies behind the war. Forces that in one way or another consider the war as a positive development for their movement and practically support the US. - Forces that out of their political haplessness lookup towards the US and advocate a wait and see policy - Forces that under the pretext of “this is not the proletariats war” are propagating pacifism and indifference
A- Active Policy against the Islamic Republic It must be borne in mind that the outcome of the political development in Iran can not be shaped by the amount and volume of our agitations and the extend and influence of our TV programmes. There is no historical evidence that a popular broadcaster has accomplished a revolution. The fate of the society first and foremost is decided through our strength, the power of organised and united people around our communistic policies.
As mentioned above the threat of war and in particular the start of war would change the condition in which we operate. Our policy is not aimed at scaremongering but to educate and unite people. On this basis our practical work must be directed at neutralising the IR, changing the balance of power in favour of our movement and our party and seizing the power from the Islamic Republic and the reactionary currents. To this end the following tasks will move to the top of our list of priorities:
1- Agitation and mobilisation of the working class and the revolutionary masses against the militarisation of the society, workplaces, neighbourhoods, schools and universities and the suppression of political freedom and the worsening of work conditions. Advocating and mobilising the defence of democratic rights as a means of mass mobilisation of people against the Islamic Republic, 2- Control of neighbourhoods- empowering people especially in the event of war breaking out, efforts to set up self-defence committees and other organs to protect and organise self-help groups. Seizing power from the regime and replacing it with Party or non-party organs of power. Confiscating all the government’s properties and those belonging to the mosques and religious institutions. Declaring the content of the “Declaration of the Overthrow of the Regime “as the governing laws of the country. 3- Advocating independent arming of people and the need for people and revolutionary organisations to be permanently armed and to join the Freedom Guards. Speeding up the formation of the Freedom Guards in Kurdistan and other parts of Iran. Advocating the importance of joining the Freedom Guards and taking over the control of the workplaces, neighbourhoods, schools and universities from the regime. Advocating the need to take over the military barracks and arm depots in order to maintain the supply of arms and ammunitions. The command centre and the units of Freedom Guards would have a vital role to play. 4- Immediate establishment of revolutionary cells or units of Freedom Guards within the armed forces in order to render the regime’s armed forces ineffective in the event of the war and use it against the regime. Our slogan at the onset of the war would be to seize the power from the Islamic Republic. The guns should be turned around and aimed at the IR and all the reactionary forces. 5- Developing the capacity to defend against the occupation by the US and forces link to it or forces trying to impose themselves on the country. 6- Without a strong Party organisation on the ground and without an extensive network of communist leaders the above tasks can not be implemented. Therefore we need to hasten our attempts to set up the Communist Committees. 7- We need to make sure that in the event of any upheaval resulting from political or military intervention by the US, the people of Kurdistan in the main cities are capable of defending themselves. We must rise up against the nationalist forces that will pour in from across the borders. Kurdistan is one of the most important centres of power for the communists. We must make sure that Kurdistan remains a bulwark of communism and freedom. 8- Establishment of Communist Committees in workplaces, mobilisation and organisation of workers against unemployment and destitution and mobilising the workers from key industries as a decisive force in dealing with the situation. 9- With the militarization of the society the regime will undoubtedly, in an attempt to save itself, resort to terror and suppression and will embark on eliminating communist and workers’ leaders and political activists. During these crucial times we must deny the regime the opportunity to touch these leaders. We must keep the highest level of alertness both for the party and the political activists. We can not afford to have these activists arrested by the IR. Our constant vigilance and ability to protect these leaders and activists and offer them temporary or permanent protection is the key to our success.
C- Our Policy outside Iran We are aware that our party lacks the resources to organise communities outside Iran against the war. But we can definitely play an important role. Expecting our organisation in the UK for instance, to lead the anti-war campaign in that country is unrealistic. This is the task of the communists, the working class and the freedom loving people in that country. Outside Iran we will pursue our political work and awareness raising tasks. As an internationalist, we expect the working class in these countries to come out against the war, and in the event of the war, to turn against their own governments with a view to bring them down. Protests against the war, important as it is, is not sufficient to stop the war. Our strength, the strength of our class, is in its ability to stop the production. The Iraqi experience has proved this. The bourgeoisie must be paralysed. This is the task of the people in Europe and the US. Contending with protests and demonstrations offers the bourgeoisie a window of opportunity- with the help of the marginalised left and the syndicalists in these countries- to escape unharmed. The communist activists and workers in the factories must be called upon and ask them to halt production and turn the guns against their own governments. We certainly should call on the people in Europe and the United States to come to the forth and stop the war and put pressure on the workers and the communists to turn against their governments.
We must declare that in the event of war breaking out, it is not only the duty of the workers and people in Iran to bring their government down, but it is also the duty of the workers and soldiers in other countries to turn their guns against their own governments . We must expose the opportunism of the traditional leftist currents, syndicalists and the social democratic currents. This is an opportunity to take the working class away from the control of these currents. Now and in the aftermath of a socialist revolution we will need the support of the working class.
Our policy on the anti-war movement has been published in our papers. Here we touch on the headings:
To oppose the threat of the US attack against Iran we must mobilise the largest possible number of people around the simple demand of No to US Warmongering. Any addendum to this simple and clear demand will limit the scope of this campaign and disperses the ranks of people. We aim at organising the biggest possible campaigns against the US warmongering.
We need to be aware of the attempts of the Islamist currents to highjack these protests. These forces will try by attributing these protests to Islam buy credibility for political Islam and the Islamic Republic. Any Islamic connotation is a direct blow against the anti US warmongering campaign and plays into the hands of the most reactionary forces in the history of humanity.
Furthermore any Islamic inclination of these protests will drive away a large section of the people who, rightly, detest Islam and will keep them away from joining these protests and consequently serving the US policy. We oppose and stand up to any attempts to Islamising these protests. And hence our policy outside Iran is as follows:
1- Our party abroad will try, alongside indigence forces in every country, mobilise the largest possible protests against US warmongering 2- Explain the truth and the policies behind this warmongering 3- Draw the support and sympathy of the people around the world to the struggles of the people of Iran against the Islamic Republic 4- Our main slogans would be “No to US Warmongering” and “US Hands off People’s Lives around the World” 5- We will do our utmost to draw the largest possible masses of people to these protests 6- We oppose any campaigns that appease the political Islam. We would not participate in such campaigns and will not encourage people to participate to join them.
We might, depending on the situation, participate in any activities and campaigns for this purpose, but our aim would be to pursue the objectives stated in 2,3 and 4 above.
D- Priorities and the tasks of the Party’s organisations Due to security implications these instructions will be classified and will be handed to relevant committees and organs.