Iran: Repression and Resistance

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! no. 12, September 1981

Since mid July, Iran's ruling Islamic Republican Party (IRP) backed by Khomeini has intensified its repression against the country's mass anti-imperialist and revolutionary organisations. The People's Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI), the largest mass organisation, and two communist ones — the Organisation of the Iranian People's Fedai Guerrillas (OIPFG) and Peykar (Struggle) — all having a history of courageous resistance to the Shah's regime — have been the main targets of the Khomeini regime's repression.

Since 20 June, the number of political prisoners has increased from 2,000 to over 13,000, of which 7,000 are members and supporters of the PMOI. Political prisoners are brutally tortured with the barbaric apparatus established by the Shah and then put before firing squads. Mass arrests and executions of people suspected of being members or supporters of revolutionary organisations are a daily occurrence. In the third week of August for example no less than 120 people were executed within the space of three days and on 24 August the number of those killed was 73. Up to now more than 800 people have been executed, many of them young girls between the age of 10-15, or people found guilty of ridiculous charges such as 'possession of a leaflet' or 'organising protests'. Two of the most prominent people executed were Saed Soltanpoor — poet, playwriter and a leading member of the OIPFG — and Sayed Mohammad Reza Saadati, a PMOI leader who spent 7 years in the Shah's prisons and tasted liberty for only three months after the February Revolution before being arrested again.

This wholesale massacre of revolutionaries and the attempted destruction of their organisations goes hand in hand with the Khomeini regime's consolidation of relations with imperialism. The crash of an Argentinian plane in the USSR in July exposed a secret arms deal between the regime and the reactionary imperialist Zionist state. In addition it has signed contracts with imperialist firms such as Talbot, Peugeot, Toyota and Volvo and is planning to further open up Iran to imperialist capital. It is no surprise therefore that the recent wave of mass murder has evoked no outrage and condemnation from the imperia-list governments and media who were so ready to denounce the regime when it was executing the Shah's generals and accomplices.

The latest wave of reaction and repression is clearly an attempt by the Khomeini/IRP regime to smash the Iranian revolutionary masses' opposition to its programme of re-establishing links with imperialism. It is also designed to terrorise the masses into silence and passivity in the face of the severe economic and social crisis gripping the country. The rapid rise of unemployment and inflation is creating bitter poverty and hunger; women are suffering increased oppression; the Kurdish people are subject to murderous bombardments and Kurdistan is being economically blockaded by the regime, while 2 million refugees created by the Iran/Iraq war are homeless and poverty stricken. The appalling suffering of Iranian workers and peasants will only worsen if Iran once again becomes a vassal of imperialism.

The IRP's terror has not however succeeded in destroying the revolutionary resistance of the Iranian masses. A statement from the PMOI offices in Paris declares that:

`All the recent claims of the officials of the regime of Khomeini claiming to have obtained important revolutionary victories against the Mojahedin are nothing but fabricated lies. To this date the Mojahedin have suffered no strategic defeats and are now taking offensive positions. The PMOI (in) a statement on 22 August in Tehran ... warned all those responsible for torture and repression . . . that from now on they will all be punished for their crimes.'

Just 8 days after this statement, on Sunday 30 August, the President of Iran, Muhammed Ali Rajai and the Prime Minister, Muhammad Javad Bohanar, were executed by a people's bomb which ripped through the Prime Minister's offices. Coming so soon after the people's bombing of the IRP headquarters and the execution of its top leaders, this latest attack reveals the complete isolation of the regime, where even at the highest levels, the revolutionaries have ready supporters and assistants.

The revolutionary organisations, despite the extremely difficult conditions, are not only engaging in armed battles against the Khomeini/IRP regime, but are also politically preparing for its overthrow. This regime over the two years of its rule has demonstrated beyond doubt that it stands opposed to the revolutionary interests and aspirations of the Iranian workers and peasants.

Communists in Britain, without any hesitation, extend their solidarity and support to the PMOI, the OIPFG and all other revolutionary organisations attempting to preserve and take forward the gains of the anti-Shah revolution of 9 February 1979.

Eddie Abrahams

 

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