Statement of the Peace and Solidarity Commission Regarding Iran
History of US Intervention in Iran
Global warfare has been the project of the US military since World War I. There has been a strategy to encourage allies and enemies to fight each other, with the view to weaken both. This is an important concept in US military doctrine. A concept of “Long War” has existed since the end of World War II. The strategy is to target civilians (during the Korean War 25% of the population was killed), Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Palestine, Libya and now Iran.
The US has been interfering in the internal affairs of Iran since 1953. The US organized a coup against the elected government of Dr. Mossadegh and replaced a democratically elected government with the dictatorship of the Shah, who become the gendarme of the region. The US got control of Iranian oil. During his reign, the Shah prosecuted and executed members of the Tudeh (Communist) Party, as well as the National Front, Iranian Student Association and other progressive organizations. Our Comrade, Nuri Ronaghy was imprisoned in the famous Evin Prison by the Savak (Iranian secret Police) when she returned home for her father’s funeral in 1977-78. Both the Savak and the Evin prison were constructed by the CIA to use as an oppressive, dictatorial tool against the Iranian people.
In 1979, when it was clear that the oppressive regime of the Shah was failing, the US made several attempts at other coups. These resulted in the Iranian students taking US embassy personnel “hostage”. While they occupied the embassy, the students reconstructed volumes of shredded documents that showed US secret coverts activities throughout the region. Those volumes have been translated into Farsi and published. The US conducted an unsuccessful raid on Iran in an attempt to “rescue” the hostages. None of the “hostages” were hurt, while a number of Iranians (and non-Iranian Sikhs) in the US were killed during the hostage “crisis”. Our comrade Nuri Ronaghy, was personally visited and threatened by both the CIA and KKK because of her activism during the crisis.
In 1981, the US-backed Mujahideen Khalq (MEK) bombed the Aboozar Mosque, killing close to 70 high-ranked government officials and injuring Ayatollah Khameinei.
After revolution the US imposed sanctions on Iran and fomented a war between Iraq and Iran, which killed more than one million and maimed one million more and lasted nearly a decade.
Under the Shah’s regime, the US in exchange for Iranian oil, began the development of a nuclear program in Iran. After the Revolution, Khomeini canceled the program because it was against principals of Islam. Later, because of power shortages, Iran decided to re-start its nuclear program for peaceful energy and medical purposes (in complete accord with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty). The US along with Israel generated massive misinformation about “Iran’s nuclear danger” and assassinated numbers of Iranian nuclear scientists.
After a new multinational nuclear agreement to which the US is a signatory, the US has not fully lifted its sanctions which were agreed upon. Iran is in full compliance with the agreement. Currently, the US is re-imposing the sanctions, and extorting other countries not to trade with Iran.
Ten days after 9/11, US General Wesley Clark announced that the US had decided to go to war with seven countries (Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Syria, Yemen and Iran) in 5 years. Gary Hart talked about bombing Iran, and New York Times columnist Seymour Hirsch described a US plan to dress US troops as Iranians and attack American ships in the Persian Gulf as a provocation for a US nuclear weapon attack on Iran. In September 2010 the joint US/Israel cyber-weapon, Stuxnet, attacked Iran’s peaceful nuclear program, substantially disabling it.
Iran has a large refugee population (7-8 million) from Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, resulting from US wars in the region. Iran also has a problem with U S opium production coming from Afghanistan. The Taliban eliminated 90% of the Afghanistan opium crop before the US invaded Afghanistan. Now the crop has recovered and is shipped all over the world, mainly to Iran, resulting in 30% of Iranian youth being addicted to opium. The result is that the youth are criminalized.
The Bush administration and former Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, created the Office of Iranian Affairs (OIA). Right wing Iranians are hired to run it. The OIA was used to organize and build the Iranian opposition to the government, a tactic the US has used in many countries. One of the reported roles of the office was to be “part of an effort to channel funds to groups that could aid opposition factions within Iran.” In 2006 Rice testified: “I want to thank the Congress for giving us $10 million to support the cause of freedom and human rights in Iran this year. We will use this money to develop support networks for Iranian reformers, political dissidents and human rights activists. We also plan to request $75 million in supplemental funding for the year 2006 to support democracy in Iran. . . In addition, I will be notifying that we plan to reprogram funds in 2007 to support the democratic aspirations of the Iranian people.” In other words, the US was strongly supporting regime change in Iran. The OIA was also involved in the mass protests in 2009, the so-called “Green Revolution”, that occurred after the election. The US hoped to replace Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with a more US-friendly leader. The protests were against the re-election of Ahmadinejad, which US-backed protesters claimed were based on fraud.
In June 2017 Rex Tillerson admitted to Congress that Trump’s administration is working toward regime change in Iran, and that agents to foment discontent are inside Iran. 3 weeks before the “uprising” Washington blocked international clearing for every Iranian bank, froze $100 billion in Iranian assets overseas, and curtailed Tehran’s potential to export oil. The consequence has been severe inflation that devalued currency. “Tanks have been replaced by banks” in US foreign policy.
It is not by accident that protests came shortly after the US decided to move its Israel embassy to Jerusalem. The Muslim ban on travel to the US, US withdrawal from the nuclear agreement, and repeated threatening of Iran and years of regional tension are having the imperialists’ desired impact.
In December 2017 Trump and Netanyahu met and agreed that Iran’s policy should be attacked based on 4 points: 1) Iran intervention in (support of) Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and Palestine (Hamas), 2) Iran’s “covert” nuclear weapons program, 3) Iran’s ballistic missiles, 4) Support of Hezbollah’s 2006 action. They also decided that Israel should assassinate Khassem Solaimani, head of the Revolutionary Guard of Iran. Using these excuses, they tightened Iran sanctions, and around that time Jared Kushner visited Saudi Arabia.
Weeks after these events, the “protests” in Iran began. Rouhani’s mistake 2 weeks before the “uprising” was to cut the government stipend of $90/per person per month for all Iranians from oil revenues, which had been inaugurated by the Ahmadinejad administration. Also, Iran was not able to sell their oil because of US pressure on prospective customers.
PCUSA Position on Iran
The PCUSA fully supports the people of Iran in their struggle for economic and social justice. Executions must be stopped. Political prisoners must be released. The rights of the workers, unions and farmers must be respected. Exploitation of working people must be stopped. Iranian women and youth must take leadership positions in Iran. Economic justice is the only salvation of Iranian people. Incompetency, corruption and repression of the people must stop.
Sanctions are weapons of mass destruction used by Imperialism, but we believe sanctions will build independence and self-sufficiency for Iranians. Iran will create alliances with other countries, making the US less relevant. We strongly condemn any intervention in Iran, and any attempts of the US to exploit the protests for imperialist purposes.
ON PEACE AND SOLIDARITY
The Fight Against Fascism and War The Peace & Solidarity Commission of the Party of Communists USA is responsible for our party’s work in building our understanding of the “United Front Against Fascism and War” detailed in Georgi Dimitroff’s Main Report to the Communist International on August 2, 1935. In our view, the greatest threat to peace in today’s world is the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) which operates worldwide as an imperialist army against the working class. NATO involves more than the capitalists of one country. Finance capital is international now. The imperialist powers, led by the United States, provoke military conflict to achieve strategic objectives that benefit the few, at the expense of the many. The working class is divided by artificial differences like skin color and religion that are exacerbated by these imperialist governments that provoke nationalistic and jingoistic feelings that keep the working class from uniting. It is our job to work to build unity across all these differences.
Dimitroff explains it this way: “Comrades, fascism in power was correctly described by the Thirteenth Plenum of the Executive Committee of the Communist International as the open terrorist dictatorship of the most reactionary, most chauvinistic and most imperialist elements of finance capital”. This is the classic definition. It is our job to unite all of the major peace organizations in the United States with the trade union movement, to combine all of our resources against NATO imperialist aggression, and to demand that our government reduce its military expenditures and spend our tax dollars on the people’s needs. To do this requires an anti-monopoly strategy, and a rejection of the two party system that Americans have been accustomed to. It means coming together around a simple, anti-war, anti-corporate agenda. We call for and demand:
1. Support for the need to oppose fascism wherever capitalism imposes such regimes which espouse this menace to humanity. The use of fascist allies in Ukraine by the United States, the EU, and NATO to seize the Ukrainian government and to wage war against anti-fascist, patriotic people who refused to bend to the government in Kiev, the brave defenders of the Lugansk and Donetsk, has outraged the world. We call upon all people to rally against the enemies of freedom and democracy.
2. We call all progressive people to unite in a massive popular front to defend all working people, and to end the blight of anti-Semitic, Pro-Hitlerite reaction in Ukraine, and to fight to end imperialism everywhere around the world.