By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chairperson, International Coordinating Committee
International League of Peoples’ Struggle
August 11, 2008
The International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS) condemns the recent executions and the rising tide of repression being carried out by the Islamic regime in Iran against its political opponents, especially the militant progressive movements of workers, peasants, students and youth, women, national minorities, journalists, intellectuals and other sections of society.
The Islamic regime in Iran has no qualms in using brutal methods like torture and murder to silence those opposed to its repressive rule. It recently executed 29 prisoners on July 29, 2008 in the infamous Evin Prison. This notorious prison was built by the Shah where thousands of political prisoners had been tortured and murdered.
The recent executions coincide with the 20th anniversary of the massacre of over 18,000 political prisoners in Iran in 1988. They also coincide with the 9th anniversary of the July 1999 student uprisings in 22 cities in Iran.
The Islamic republic was shaken by that student revolt. With extreme brutality, the regime crushed the uprising by using the police and assault gangs who attacked the students with guns, chains and machete. More than 2,000 students were arrested and jailed. The latest executions could be a clear warning against those who would defy the Islamic regime.
In recent months, protest actions by workers, students and women have increased against the neoliberal economic policies and repressive measures being foisted on the people. Workers have protested against unpaid wages, privatization of state enterprises, growing unemployment, soaring prices of basic commodities and other socio-economic ills. Students have protested against the arrest of progressive teachers and students and repression in the schools.
The International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS) supports the call of progressive Iranian organizations, demanding a stop to the executions and other atrocities and to release all the political prisoners. Such call is in line with the revolutionary struggle of the Iranian people for national sovereignty, democracy and social liberation against US imperialism and its lackeys.
The ILPS stands firmly and militantly in solidarity with the Iranian workers, peasants, students, women, professionals and other people in opposing the neoliberal economic policies that have brought about more suffering on the people . The ILPS supports their struggle for their basic democratic rights such as the freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and other basic freedoms being denied them by the repressive Islamic regime.
The Islamic republic cannot truly stand as the defender of the Iranian people’s sovereignty and national independence because it brutally attacks the people and the revolutionary forces and thereby runs counter to the resistance against US imperialism. In fact, the reactionary regime of religious bigots invites the imperialists headed by the US to attack Iran by conducting counterrevolutionary attacks against the Iranian people.
While the Western mass media hype the contradictions between the Islamic republic and the US government, we are aware that the former is not above compromising with US imperialism. We saw in the exposure of Irangate how in the 1980s under the Reagan regime the US supplied arms to the mullah regime by first selling the arms to Israel and then to a concealed entity (a dummy corporation of the Philippine government under Marcos) from which the Islamic Republic bought the arms.
The same pattern was used when in 1995 the US supplied the arms to the Bosnian Muslims in order to turn the tide against the Serbs by first selling to Israel the US arms from the big US military base in Turkey. Then, Israel sold the arms to the Philippine government under Ramos from which the Iranian government finally bought them. The arms were never brought to Iran but were transported to the Bosnian Muslims by Turkish agents. The CIA has repeatedly used the method of several layers of contracts to distance the US as supplier from the ultimate buyer like the Islamic republic.
We have heard the US diatribes against the Iranian government for supposedly having a nuclear weapons development program as well as US threats of aggression against Iran and the Iranian people. But we also see signs that the Islamic republic has distanced itself from anti-US forces in Iraq and is behind the scenes encouraging the Shiite and Kurdish ruling politicians of Iraq to make the neocolonial economic and security agreements with the US.
Nevertheless, no matter how the Islamic republic may be discreetly obsequious and compromising, US imperialism is hell-bent on pursuing its long term strategy of subjugating all countries in the Middle East and tightening control over the oil resources in the region. Once upon a time, the US had good relations with the Iraqi government under Saddam in the 1980s. But eventually it decided to attack and subjugate Iraq.
The International League of People’s Struggle urges the Iranian people and revolutionary forces to build and strengthen themselves and to engage in a series of alliances under the leadership of the working class against US imperialism and its lackeys. Most important of the alliances is the one between the workers and peasants, who comprise the overwhelming majority of the people.
Next is the alliance of progressive forces which includes the toiling masses and the urban petty bourgeoisie. Further is the alliance of patriotic forces, which includes the progressive forces and the dualistic vacillating national bourgeoisie. Still further is the temporary and unstable alliance with certain reactionary forces that are against US imperialism and the worst of the reactionary forces. The broader an alliance is the more important it is for the revolutionary forces to maintain initiative and independence and to practice unity and struggle.
We urge all democratic, anti-imperialist and progressive forces around the world to condemn the latest rise in executions in Iran by the reactionary regime of Islamic republic.We demand the release of all political prisoners and the immediate end of all executions in Iran. We condemn the collaboration of the Iranian and Turkish regimes against the people of the two countries and in particular their genocidal polices towards the Kurdish people. ##