33th Anniversary of the 1979 Uprising and 41th Anniversary of the Siahkal Epic
Forty one year ago today, Organization of Iranian People’s Fedaii Guerillas (OIPFG) launched its heroic attack against the Gendarmerie post in northern Iran inflicting a major blow to the Shah’s dictatorial regime. That epic day became a turning point against the regime of the Shah and helped to open a new chapter for the Iran’s new communist movement. It helped to inspire hope among working masses in their struggle against the tyrannical kingdom.
In Feb. 1979 people’s nationwide uprising against the regime reached its pinnacle and toppled the Shahs regime forever. While men, women, students, and the entire working class, with the hope of establishing a true democracy, took to the streets and brought the kingdom down, but their fight for democracy became a halfway victory. Right after the collapse of the Shah’s regime, in an international setup and compromise between Ayatollah Khomeini and the US Imperialism, the old repressive apparatus was secretly handed over to the new regime. The aftermath of that “peaceful transition” was a theocratic tyranny which has ruled Iran since then.
The Islamic Republic of Iran soon started its brutal crackdown on workers, women, students, ethnic minorities, and basically the entire population. It didn’t take long that the dark clouds of dictatorship covered the entire nation and took away most of the newly achieved democratic values and victories. Workers’ strikes that were a pivotal factor in bringing down the former regime were soon banned by the new regime. Ethnic movements from Kurdistan to Turkmen-Sahra and from Azerbaijan to Baluchestan were brutally crushed.
People showed resistance and it wasn’t easy for the new regime to forge ahead with its brutal crackdown. Regime in its first move made all those organizations which were instrumental in toppling the former regime illegal. Gradually all the social structures such as unions and councils which were setup and created by the people after the 1979 uprising were converted to some ceremonial and empty government institutions. All the promises made by Ayatollah Khomeini regarding economic prosperity and freedom soon were all forgotten and vanished. Instead new laws were passed to ban the public from any free political participation. To complete these reactionary scenarios, capitalist Bazaar merchants, Islamic parties, Hezbollah elements, paramilitary dark forces, and yes-men self-seeking elements were soon empowered to carry out the government plans.
In the thirty three years of the Islamic Republic’s life a large spectrum of religious organizations were involved and had their hands in cracking down the people. Even though during the ongoing factional infighting over the years some of these forces and elements were eventually eliminated and put aside, but some stayed with the regime for so many years and were directly involved with the regimes brutal repression. Forces such as Nehzat-e-Azadi, “reformist movement” headed by Khatami, and “green movement” associated with Mir-Hossein Mossavi for many years were part of the regime and were directly involved in organizing the regime’s repressive crackdown apparatus. It is not a secret that for eight years Mir Hossein Mossavi was the Khomeini’s handpicked Prime Minister. Mossavi was directly involved in planning and implementing government’s brutal policies in 1980’s. We can’t forget the weekly visits by Khatami from the prison cells and his direct reports to Khomeini himself regarding the situation at the prisons. Same notorious prisons where tens of thousands of political prisoners were held and later executed. It was him that for eight years during his own presidency defended the pillars of the Islamic Republic and helped to prolong the regime’s life. Who is going to forget the time when Karrobi was at the helm of the Iran’s parliament or when he was managing the financial conglomerate Mostazafan Foundation?
From the time that “reformist” factions were eliminated by the “fundamentalists” headed by Khameneie, Western powers have tried to establish a cozy relationship with the “reformist” elements and support them by taking them under their own umbrella. They have been promoted and introduced as future leaders of Iran by the Western media. Mass media in the West has tried to include the elements of the former Shah’s regime next to the activists associated with the “Green Movement” in an odd coalition. They have been portrayed as democratic alternatives for the future of Iran, similar to plans that were implemented in Afghanistan under “Loya Jirgas” (grand assembly), and in Arab countries under “Arab Spring”.
Despite mounting socio- economic pressures, deepening factional fighting between Supreme Leader Ali Khamenie and president Ahmadinejad, and with all the international sanctions, regime with its mindless policies continues to push the country more towards destruction and poverty.
All the provocations and intimidations by the US in the Persian Gulf in last few weeks showed the regime’s claims to close the strait of Hormuz are nothing but empty bluffs. To persuade the public opinion regime first announced that they have “chased away the US Navy aircraft carriers” and later admitted that, “the US presence in the region is not anything new”.
After all the miseries and suffering that the people have gone through over the years we should learn from the lessons of the 1979 uprising and not let the past mistakes to repeat again. Practical experiences of the past show us that without a genuine participation of the working class regime cannot be toppled. It is only with working class participation that we can break the backbone of the regime’s economic and political establishment and forced the regime to relinquish the power. Lessons of the 1979 uprising show us that with some cosmetic power shifts at the top and minor reforms here and there nothing fundamental is going to happen. As long as the repressive apparatus of the regime such as Sepah Pasdaran, Basij, police forces, and intelligence agencies are not completely destroyed and eliminated whoever is going to take over after the regime’s collapse is going to revitalize and reestablish another police state. The same crackdown apparatus will be utilized again to push back the people’s revolutionary achievements and take away their basic freedom and basic rights. Democracy and freedom can only be established by eliminating and destroying the repressive state machine and letting people to exercise their basic democratic rights. The West is vigorously against these types of fundamental changes and only wants a superficial regime change at the top, replacing one dictator with another. The Western powers want to repeat the past dark scenarios in Iran. They prefer to remove some of the elements of the current regime such as Khamenie and Ahmadinejad from power and replace them with a package made up of religious figureheads, former monarchists, and some former liberal elements. The West wants to use its mass-media muscle to establish and promote such a package as an alternative for the future of Iran.
Lessons of more than three decades of struggle show us that people’s suffering and worsening socio-economic condition that followed the 1979 uprising was the result of a superficial regime-change at the top. The old state machine was never destroyed but revitalized and reused again. After many years, people are still paying a high price for keeping the previous repressive state machine only this time managed by a theocratic hierarchy. The ruling religious tyranny has exercised a harsh dictatorship over the years by pushing the people to an edge to a brink of a social revolt. People’s resentment towards the regime and their fight against the ruling echelon is wisely directed and calculated. In a situation like this it is up to the progressive and revolutionary forces of Iran to direct the people’s struggle towards a final victory crushing the repressive state machine.
Over the years mass media in the West in unison with some of the former elements of the regime want to show that the entire population in Iran is only interested in the type of the democracy that the West is promoting. This is far from the truth. A glance over the policies and resume of the former elements of the regime prove the contrary and clears the heavy fog covering their claims. Statements from the heads of the “Green Movement” and “reformist” factions show that they are more interested in keeping the government structure intact. Defending some of the fundamental Shia beliefs such as Velaiat-e Faghih is the type of the “freedom” that they have been contemplating. On the other hand monarchists who have the backing of the West have their own interpretation of what democracy is, which is more close to an autocratic state. Supporters of the Iran’s working class on the other hand believe in total elimination of the state machine and present a type of democracy which will be built on top of the ruins of the old system. Revolutionary and democratic forces in Iran must unite and prevent Western powers and their allies from derailing the people’s struggle and at the end imposing yet another form of dictatorship.
People’s mounting opposition, deepening political and economic turmoil, embezzlement of billions of dollars by the corrupt elements of the regime, defection of some of the influential elements of the government, and provocations by the West regarding military strikes against the regime’s nuclear sites all have caused a major drift at the top of the government. Heads of the regime are trying to cover their domestic problems by creating more international tensions and provocations. By getting involved in the affairs of Arab countries in the region they want to keep the public opinion away from the internal problems. Ahmadinejad in a confrontation posturing has gone head-to-head with the Supreme Leader, promising to draw a line in the next election and “determine the faith of the Islamic Revolution”. Supreme Leader on the other hand unable to unseat the president wants to wait until the election time to close the case on Ahmadinejad’s faction. It is very clear that no matter which direction the next election is going to go and which faction comes out as a winner, people have no interest in it. We believe boycotting the next ceremonial election is the right policy. It shows to the world that the regime has no legitimacy among the people and the only way out of this is to upend the regime in its entirety.
Down with the Islamic Republic of Iran,
Long live Peoples' Democratic Republic,
Long live memory of the martyrs of Siahkal and 1979 uprising,
Long live Socialism.
Organization of Iranian Peoples' Fedaiie Guerillas (OIPFG)
08 February 2012