Editorial: The US Left and the Iran Protests

It is the stated position of the American Party of Labor that we do not publicly criticize other Marxist-Leninist organizations.  Our stance has always been that our fight is with capitalism and imperialism, and the multitude of oppressions and injustices stemming from them, not with other comrades who may have a different point of view than ours. Holding to that principle has been rather difficult over the past few weeks as we observed the response, or lack of response, on the part of sectors of the American left in the face of the protest movement presently taking place in Iran.

Let us, from the get-go, be very clear on one thing: the American Party of Labor resolutely condemns all imperialist maneuvers, machinations, and intrigues against the Islamic Republic of Iran, and we raise the demand, US IMPERIALISM, HANDS OFF IRAN!  It is to be expected that U.S. imperialism will try to infiltrate the protest movement and divert and manipulate it to its own ends. This is a standard imperialist tactic and we have seen it used many times before. We strongly urge all left forces in the U.S. to take action against imperialist intervention in Iran, to defend the national sovereignty of the Islamic Republic against imperialist aggression, and to stand in solidarity with the Iranian people.

However, this does not mean that we abandon our Marxist-Leninist critical faculties and blind ourselves as to the nature of the theocratic regime in Iran. Unfortunately, we have seen instances of just that among some American leftists. There is an alarming tendency in the U.S. left which sees any regime that has contradictions with or criticizes U.S. imperialism as being “the good guys” regardless of the class nature and/or policies of that regime. This is not only a simplistic and infantile stance; but it is also a wholesale rejection of Marxist-Leninist principles and materialist analysis. As Marxist-Leninists, our one and only concern is for the struggles of working and oppressed peoples and for the victory of proletarian revolution. That is our imperative, our obligation. Some seem to have lost sight of that duty, and forgotten that it is not only possible, but necessary to be able to support a government or regime against imperialist attack while still maintaining a critical Marxist stance.

In recent weeks, we have seen some elements in the American left uncritically endorse the Islamic Republic in its suppression of the protest movement. Indeed, we have even seen one instance where an individual wrote that the Iranian government should crush the protest movement “without mercy.” Others have automatically condemned the protest movement as an attempt at a “color revolution,” while still others repeat the allegations of the Iranian state media and its mouthpieces that the protest movement is the strictly the work of “outside agitators and provocateurs.” Yet again, others have remained silent on the entire matter, perhaps waiting for something that allows them to get a handle on what is happening.

What, to our surprise, we have not seen is anyone on the U.S. left reach out to the Iranian comrades themselves. No one seems to be taking the time or making the effort to ask the Iranian communists and socialists, the people present on the ground and in the streets, the people who know what is happening, the people we should be supporting, what their view is and how we here in the US can best offer our help and support.

To that end, we have compiled the following list.  It should not come as a surprise that the entire Iranian Left, across the whole left spectrum, and irrespective of tendency, has issued statements regarding the protest movement. It should also come as no surprise that every single one has come out in support of the protest movement. These are the people we should be listening to. Not Trump, not NATO, not the Iranian state media, and certainly not various Left “pundits” with their varied agendas and ambitions.

Here is the list:

Iranian Party of Labour (Anti-revisionist/”Hoxhaist”):

Tudeh Party (Former pro-Soviet):

Communist Party of Iran (Marxist-Leninist-Maoist):

Worker-Communist Party of Iran (Left communist/Council communist):

Organization of Revolutionary Workers of Iran-Workers Way (“Unaffiliated” Marxist-Leninist):

Peoples Mojahedin Organization of Iran/National council of Resistance (Radical left/Islamic Marxist):

Union of Peoples Fedaian of Iran (“Guerrilla Marxist”):

Organization of Iranian Peoples Fedaian (Post-communist):

Fedaian Organization (Marxist):

Organization of Iranian Peoples Fedai Guerrillas – Majority (Marxist):

Organization of Iranian Peoples Fedai Guerrillas – 1985 (Marxist):

Worker Communist Party – Hekmatist (Left communist):

Please note: The purpose of this list is to show that it appears that the entire Iranian left has spoken out regarding the protest movement. This is not meant to endorse any one of these parties (although we do support the Iranian Labour Party), or to deny that there are serious differences among them, or that one or another might be considered “objectionable.” Our point is to show what the whole Iranian left is saying, as opposed to the Iranian state media and their mouthpieces and apologists.

These are the voices of our comrades, our brothers and sisters. To ignore them is to ignore our core principle of proletarian internationalism. And that would be a mark of dishonor and betrayal.

Categories: Editorials, Statements, U.S. News

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