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Socialist Alliance: In solidarity with the people of Iran

June 26, 2009 (amended June 30) -- Socialist Alliance stands in solidarity with the millions of Iranians who are bravely demanding their rights in the streets despite huge state-sanctioned repression. These are the biggest protests in Iran since the 1979 protests in which the US-backed Shah was deposed.

Millions of people, old and young, ethnic and religious minorities, have taken to the streets, day in and day out since the disputed election on June 12. They have bravely defied the repressive regime of Mahmoud Ahmedinejad to demand the most basic of rights: the right to freely and transparently elect their representatives.

Some 27 people, including a young woman Neda Agha-Soltan whose death was captured on video, have been killed in the crackdown on protests. Several hundred have been injured, and a leading student activist is in a coma. Government officials on June 24 announced that there had been a total of 645 arrests in Tehran since June 13, 2009. Activists say that several hundred more, including journalists, editors, students, professors, party officials and unionists have also disappeared.

Iran’s unelected Guardian Council, while admitting electoral irregularities, has ruled out a recount or a fresh election.

The regime’s response is no surprise: it uses its repressive apparatus – including the National Guard and the Basiji – to violently repress trade unions, curb the rights of women, gays and lesbians, national minorities and other oppressed sectors.

What started as a protest in support of opposition candidate and former prime minister Mir-Hossein Mousavi, who claims to have been defrauded, has become a rallying point for Iranians from many sectors fed up with their lack of rights.

On June 20, the Autobus Workers Union of Iran (Sendikaye Sherkat Vahed) declared its support for the protests and protestors, and condemned the state-sponsored repression.

“Iranian society is facing a deep political and economic crisis”, the union, many of whose leaders have been imprisoned and disappeared, said. “Million-strong protests, which have manifested themselves with a silence that is replete with meaning, have become a pattern that is growing in area and dimension, a growth that demands a response from any responsible person and organization.”

The union demanded that workers’ and democratic rights, in particular the freedom to organise and the freedom to elect, to be respected, or “any talk of social freedom and labor union rights will be a farce”.

The autoworkers union has also joined the protestors.

Socialist Alliance salutes those millions of Iranians who are determined not to let this latest attack on democratic freedoms pass by.

The Iranian people are reminding the world that their struggle for democracy and rights, is not over. Since the nationalist uprisings in the 19^th century against British and Russian imperialism, to the British and US-backed coup against the democratically-elected government of Mohammad Mossadeq in 1953, to the decades long US-imposed sanctions, the people of Iran have battled imperialist meddling and support for despotic rulers.

The apparent split in the Islamic ruling elite may assist the Iranian people in this struggle – and our international solidarity will also be a critical factor.

To that end, we commit our support the Iranian community in Australia in their efforts to organise international solidarity.

Socialist Alliance believes that resolving the crisis is the right and responsibility of the Iranian people alone. External economic and military interference can play no positive role, as has been clearly shown throughout Iran’s history and the US-led interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan, and its support for Israeli aggression against Palestine and the region.

But the Australian government can and must take a stand in support of democracy in Iran by:

  • condemning the Iranian regime’s repression of the protests
  • demanding the release of all political prisoners, including union leaders and activists
  • demanding the regime sends the Iranian National Guard back to barracks and de-commissions the Basiji shock troops
  • opposing Western intervention, on any pretext, and to demand the US lifts the sanctions on Iran
  • demanding that the regime listens to the movement on the streets which, among other calls, is demanding fresh elections.

  • Comments

    Was the Iranian Election Stolen? Does It Matter? ByMark Weisbrot

    Was the Iranian Election Stolen? Does It Matter?
    By Mark Weisbrot
    This column was published by PostGlobal

    at on June 26, 2009.
    Since the Iranian presidential election of June 12, allegations that the
    announced winner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's victory was stolen have played an
    important role in the demonstrations, political conflict, and media
    reporting on events there. Some say that it does not matter whether the
    elections were stolen or not, since the government has responded to
    peaceful protests with violence and arrests. These actions are indeed
    abhorrent and inexcusable, and the world's outrage is justified. So,
    too, is the widespread concern for the civil liberties of Iranians who
    have chosen to exercise their rights to peacefully protest.

    At the same time, the issue of whether the election was stolen will
    remain relevant, both to our understanding of the situation and to
    U.S.-Iranian relations, for reasons explained below. It is therefore
    worth looking at whether this allegation is plausible.

    According to the official election results, the incumbent president
    Ahmadinejad won the election by a margin of 63 percent to 34 percent for
    his main competitor, Mir Hossein Mousavi. This is a difference of
    approximately 11.3 million votes. Any claim of victory for Mousavi must
    therefore contain some logically coherent story of how at least 5.65
    million votes (one half of the 11.3 million margin) might have been stolen.

    This implies looking at the electoral procedures. There were
    approximately 45,000 polling locations with ballot boxes, not including
    mobile units. If these ballot boxes were collected by a central
    authority and taken away to a central location, and counted (or not
    counted) behind closed doors, this would be consistent with an
    allegation of massive vote theft.

    However, this does not appear to be the case. After searching through
    thousands of news articles without finding any substantive information
    on the electoral process, I contacted Seyed Mohammad Marandi, who heads
    the North American Studies department at the University of Teheran. He
    described the electoral procedures to me, and together we interviewed,
    by phone, Sayed Moujtaba Davoodi, a poll worker who participated in the
    June 12 election in region 13 (of 22 regions) in Tehran. Mr. Daboodi has
    worked in elections for the past 16 years. The following is from their
    description of the procedures.

    According to their account, there are 14 people working at each polling
    place, in addition to an observer representing each candidate. Most
    polling places are schools or mosques; if the polling place is a school
    then the team of 14 people would include teachers. There are 2-4
    representatives of the Guardian Council, and 2 from the local police.
    After the last votes are cast, the ballots are counted in the presence
    of the 14 people plus the candidates' representatives. All of them sign
    five documents that contain the vote totals. One of the documents goes
    into the ballot box; one stays with the leader of the local election
    team; and the others go to other levels of the electoral administration,
    including the Guardian Council and the Interior.

    The vote totals are then sent to a local center that also has
    representatives of the Guardian Council, Interior, and the candidates.
    They add up the figures from a number of ballot boxes, and then send
    them to Interior. In this election, the numbers were also sent directly
    to Interior from the individual polling places, in the presence of the
    14-18 witnesses at the ballot box.

    Each voter presents identification, and his or her name and information
    is entered into a computer, and also recorded in writing. The voter's
    thumbprint is also put on the stub of the ballot. The voter's
    identification is stamped to prevent multiple voting at different voting
    places, and there is also a computer and written record of everyone who
    voted at each polling place.

    If this information is near accurate, it would appear that large scale
    fraud is extremely difficult, if not impossible, without creating an
    extensive trail of evidence. Indeed, if this election was stolen, there
    must be tens of thousands of witnesses -- or perhaps hundreds of
    thousands - to the theft. Yet there are no media accounts of interviews
    with such witnesses.

    Is it possible that, in most of the country, the procedures outlined
    above - followed in previous elections - were abruptly abandoned, with
    ballot boxes whisked away before anyone could count them at the precinct
    level? Again, many of the more than 700,000 people involved in the
    electoral process would have been witnesses to such a large-scale event.
    Given the courage that hundreds of thousands of people have demonstrated
    in taking to the streets, we would expect at least some to come forward
    with information on what happened.

    Rostam Pourzal, an Iranian-American human rights campaigner, told me
    that it is common knowledge in Iran that these are the election
    procedures and that they were generally followed in this election.
    Professor Marandi concurred, and added: "There's just no way that any
    large-scale or systematic fraud could have taken place."

    The government has agreed to post the individual ballot box totals on
    the web. This would provide another opportunity for any of the hundreds
    of thousands of witnesses to the precinct-level vote count to say that
    they witnessed a different count, if any did so.

    A number of other arguments have been put forward that the vote must
    have been rigged. Most of them have been refuted. For example, the idea
    that the results were announced too quickly: How long does it take to
    count 500-800 ballots at a polling place, with only the presidential
    candidates on the ballot? It could easily be done within the time that
    it took, as it was in 2005.

    The New York Times' front page story on Tuesday, June 23 begins with
    this sentence: "Iran's most powerful oversight council announced on
    Monday that the number of votes recorded in 50 cities exceeded the
    number of eligible voters there by three million, further tarnishing a
    presidential election..." This was widely interpreted as the government
    admitting to some three million fraudulent votes.

    Here is the Guardian Council's statement, from their web site:

    "Candidates campaigns have said that in 80-170 towns and cities, more
    people have voted than are eligible voters. We have determined, based on
    preliminary studies, that there are only about 50 such cities or
    towns... The total number of votes in these cities or towns is something
    close to three million; therefore, even if we were to throw away all of
    these votes, it would not change the result."

    The letter from the Guardian Council also offers a number of reasons
    that a city or town can have a vote total that exceeds the number of
    eligible voters: some towns are weekend or vacation destinations, some
    voters are commuters, some districts are not demographically distinct
    entities, and Iranians can vote wherever they want (unlike in the United
    States, where they must vote at their local polling place). On the face
    of it, this does not appear implausible. Contrary to press reports,
    there is no admission from the Iranian government that any of these
    votes were fraudulent, nor has evidence of such fraud been made public.

    The only independent poll we have, from the New America Foundation and
    conducted three weeks before the election, predicts the result that
    occurred. And a number of experts have presented plausible explanations
    for why Ahmadinejad could have won by a large margin.

    Does it matter if the election was stolen? Certainly there are grounds
    for challenging the overall legitimacy of the electoral process, in
    which the government determines which candidates can compete, and the
    press and other institutions are constrained.

    But from the point of view of promoting more normal relations between
    the United States and Iran, avoiding a military conflict, and bringing
    stability to the region, the truth as to the more narrow question of
    whether the election was procedurally fraudulent may be relevant. If in
    fact the election was not stolen, and Washington (and Europe) pretend
    that it was, this can contribute to a worsening of relations. It will
    give further ammunition to hard-liners in Iran, who are portraying the
    whole uprising as a conspiracy organized by the West. (It doesn't help
    that the Obama administration hasn't announced an end to the covert
    operations that the Bush administration was carrying out within Iran).
    More importantly, it will boost hardliners here - including some in the
    Obama administration - who want to de-legitimize the government of Iran
    in order to avoid serious negotiations over its nuclear program. That is
    something that we should avoid, because a failure to seriously pursue
    negotiations now may lead to war in the future.

    Freedom Road Socialist Organization Statement on Iran

    Imperialism and Iran’s Elections

    Commentary by Kosta Harlan

    A struggle has broken out over the results of Iran’s presidential elections, held Friday June 12, which resulted in the apparent landslide victory of incumbent President Ahmadinejad. On Friday night, before the results had been announced, the main opposition candidate, Mir Hossein Mousavi, declared himself the winner. The following day, Iran's election commission announced that Ahmadinejad had won with 62% of the vote. Mousavi responded with allegations of vote-rigging. This set into motion a chain of events that has resulted in hundreds of thousands coming out to the streets in protest. Some of the protests turned into riots, with protesters attacking police, government offices and banks and burning cars. 19 people are reported to have died in clashes with the government.

    The subsequent media barrage has been so deafening that some of the basic facts and issues surrounding the election have been completely obscured. The unquestioned assumption propagated by the mainstream media is that the election was stolen.

    The problem is, the only independent poll conducted four weeks before the election predicted a result very much akin to the official results from Iran's election commission. The poll, conducted by Terror Free Tomorrow, surveyed opinion in all 30 of Iran's provinces. It showed Ahmadinejad with a 2 to 1 lead over Mousavi (Washington Post, 6/15/09), which corresponds to the official tally of 63% for Ahmadinejad and 34% for Mousavi. As for Mohsen Rezai and Mehdi Karroubi, the other opposition candidates, the poll predicted they would earn 1% and 2% of the vote, respectively; while the official tally shows them winning 1.73% and 0.85%. It is clear that the poll was remarkably accurate in its predictions.

    The poll also highlighted some of the class divisions around the elections. For example, Mousavi had majority support only among university students and the highest-income Iranians, while those who identified as working-class and poor favored Ahmadinejad. Thus while hundreds of thousands of university students, professionals and better-educated Iranians can be seen protesting in the affluent suburbs of Tehran and other cities, rural poor and workers have not been reported in large numbers at the opposition rallies. This reflects the fact that Mousavi's program of greater western investment, privatization and de-regulation played well with some of Iran's more privileged social classes.

    Those who allege voter fraud either ignore this poll or attempt to come up with all kinds of misleading arguments as to why it was inaccurate. On the other hand, one can imagine that if the poll had shown Mousavi with a 2-1 lead, every corporate news commentator on the planet would be holding up this poll as decisive evidence.

    It is no small matter that not a shred of hard evidence has been produced to indicate that the vote was manipulated. Abbas Barzegar, writing in the Guardian newspaper, puts it this way:

    "One should recall that in three decades of presidential elections, the accusations of rigging have rarely been levied against the vote count. Elections here are typically controlled by banning candidates from the start or closing opposition newspapers in advance.

    In this election moreover, there were two separate governmental election monitors in addition to observers from each camp to prevent mass voter fraud. The sentimental implausibility of Ahmedinejad's victory that Mousavi's supporters set forth as the evidence of state corruption must be met by the equal implausibility that such widespread corruption could take place under clear daylight." (Guardian, 6/13/09)

    Barzegar concludes, “It seems that wishful thinking got the better of credible reporting.”

    Anyone who takes a serious look at the facts and conditions in Iran would have to agree. There is a very good reason why the Mousavi protests have received such tremendous coverage in CNN, BBC, FOX and all the major mainstream television, radio, internet and other media outlets. It is the same reason why the Obama administration intervened in preventing a temporary shutdown of the internet communication site Twitter, which is being used supposedly by Iranian students (although the evidence suggests that much of this content originates outside of Iran) to coordinate protest information and share information. Or why the leaders of the big imperialist powers have all hypocritically “condemned” the Iranian election or expressed their “grave concern” about its fairness.

    The reason Mousavi and the so-called ‘pro-democracy movement’ in Iran have received such lavish coverage is precisely because it is the ‘wishful thinking’ of the big imperial powers - the United States, Britain, France, Germany, etc. - that Iran’s government will fall. Iran is a thorn in the side of U.S. domination of the Middle East.

    Despite being surrounded by hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, and facing the prospect of air strikes by Israel, the Iranian government has been able to chart an independent course that is focused on national development, independence and, most woeful to the imperial powers, the use of oil revenues to better the lot of Iranian people, rather than the profits of the multinational corporations. Iran has also provided significant support to resistance movements, such as Hezbollah, and built alliances with anti-imperialist governments such as Venezuela.

    The United States has been looking to topple the leadership of Iran's government for many years now. During one flare-up in tensions last year, Seymour Hersh reported:

    “Late last year [2007], Congress agreed to a request from President Bush to fund a major escalation of covert operations against Iran, according to current and former military, intelligence, and congressional sources. These operations, for which the President sought up to four hundred million dollars, were described in a Presidential Finding signed by Bush, and are designed to destabilize the country’s religious leadership." (New Yorker, 7/08/2008)

    One has to ask: what did the Central Intelligence Agency and Joint Special Operations Command do with $400 million over the past year? Could it have something to do with the spectacularly publicized, internationally coordinated and well-funded protest activity in Iran? Instead of investigating this aspect of the story, the corporate media continue to trash Iran's government and sovereignty.

    Iran’s election cannot be seen in isolation from the broader context of the Middle East - a region where invasion and occupation uprooted an anti-imperialist, independent government in Iraq, where millions live under a deadly U.S.-backed occupation in Palestine and where puppet regimes backed by the United States oppress and exploit hundreds of millions of people. In this context, there is nothing more hypocritical than for the big imperial powers - which for decades have strangled democracies and rigged elections so that ‘their’ pro-Western candidates come out on top - to condemn the Iranian elections. The U.S. should stop interfering in Iran's internal affairs and respect Iran's right to sovereignty and self-determination.

    Freedom Socialist Party Statement on Revolt in Iran

    Freedom Socialist Party Statement on Revolt in Iran

    June 30, 2009

    The Freedom Socialist Party stands in solidarity with the courageous
    Iranian youth, women, workers, trade unionists and intellectuals who took
    to the streets and engaged in work stoppages to challenge the
    repressive Islamic regime, using the recent presidential elections as their
    starting point.

    For the majority of Iranian voters, the election was a choice between the
    bad and the worst. In a theocracy such as Iran the ultimate power and
    legitimacy of the regime rest not with the people, but with the clerics. Any
    vote or governmental decision can be overturned by the Supreme Spiritual
    Leader and the 12-man Council of Guardians which pre-approves all
    candidates and has blessed President Ahmadinejad's ostensible victory.

    However, the president's main challenger, Mir-Hossein Mousavi who
    supposedly represents a "reformist faction" within the ruling regime
    ordered the execution of thousands of progressives as prime minister
    and should be on trial for mass murder. The conflict between Ahmadinejad
    and Mousavi is sign of a deep rift among warring factions at the highest
    levels of government that is being fought in the open and can no longer
    be resolved internally. This deep division is the result of years of economic
    and political crises since the birth of the Islamic Republic in 1979.

    In this context, it does not go far enough to demand a new, "clean"
    presidential election. What is needed is an entirely new, secular regime
    where democratic rights are respected, including those of national
    minorities; stoning is outlawed; persecution of women, young people and
    gays who do not conform to the fundamentalist world view is banned; the
    right of unionists to strike is protected; freedom of thought and political
    affiliation are encouraged; and the vast wealth of the country is in the
    hands of the working people who create it, not a free trade elite.

    The days of the Islamic regime are numbered. If not this year,
    sometime in the near future it will be overthrown by Iranian workers of
    all nationalities and both sexes, just as they overthrew the despised
    Shah in 1979. Women played a vanguard role in that revolution only to
    be violently repressed by the Islamicists who seized control of the
    anti-Shah movement. For 30 years women have suffered as second-
    class citizens, but today they are proudly once again in the vanguard of the
    movement for democratic freedoms. We hail their courage and stand
    shoulder-to-shoulder with them as we did in 1979 (Iranian Women--
    Vanguard of the World Revolution).

    We are sickened by the reign of terror that has been unleashed
    against protesters since the polls closed. We denounce the murder, brutal
    beatings and mass arrests of demonstrators and call on the government
    to put down its truncheons and lower its guns, disarm the Basiji militia and
    order police and Revolutionary Guards to respect the rights of free speech
    and assembly. Members of the militia and other armed forces which are
    killing and maiming protestors must be tried for their crimes.

    At the same time, the Freedom Socialist Party condemns U.S.
    attempts to destabilize Iran through a covert operation authorized by
    the Bush administration, funded by Congress to the tune of $400 million
    and supported by President Obama. CIA backing for a Sunni fundamentalist
    group called Jundallah (Soldiers of God) has already resulted in death and
    injury inside Iran and is reminiscent of the support the CIA gave to the
    Taliban in its early years.

    The dangers confronting Iranian working people are real. The protest
    movement must move--sooner rather than later--beyond the "reforms" of
    Mousavi and reject any compromises offered by fake lovers of democracy
    in imperialist ruling circles. What is needed is a revolutionary party
    capable of leading the inspiring struggle for a new, free socialist Iran.

    Support the Iranian Mass Struggle for Democratic Rights!

    U.S. Hands Off Iran!

    by the Political Committee of Socialist Action (June 23, 2009)

    1) A division in the ruling elite has opened up the way for an explosion of discontent with the reactionary clerical capitalist regime in Iran. The massive mobilizations clearly reflect the deep hatred of the government by the masses in Iran's largest city. The greater Tehran area accounts for about one-fifth of the total population of the country and is where most of the industry is based. It is the major working-class center. It was also the focal point of the 1979 revolution that overthrew the U.S.-backed crowned dictatorship of the shah. (To date, there is relatively little information in the Western media about the situation in other cities or in the countryside).

    Even the speaker of the Iranian parliament, Larijani, a leading conservative, has declared that a majority of Iranians are convinced that the election results were invalid. The fact that the official victor, Ahmadinejad, was credited with a score similar to his victory in 2005 did not provide any credibility; in that year and in the previous parliamentary elections the opposing faction largely boycotted the vote because its candidates had been rejected by the Council of Guardians—that is, they were denied the right to participate in the elections.

    The arguments of some commentators in the West that only or primarily the upper class supports the mass protests against the officially declared election results are clearly false. Mass demonstrations have been held in the poorer, working-class southern districts of Tehran as well as the north. These protests have obviously been an outpouring of discontent of the general population with an undemocratic and oppressive regime. In no country and at no time in history have privileged sections of the population defied murderous repression in the streets.

    2) There is no clear difference between the two major candidates, Ahmadinejad and Moussavi. Both represent factions of the ruling bourgeois elite, divided only by competing ambitions and perhaps by tactical differences (although even this is unclear.). Both support the continuation of the present theocratic regime.

    The June 12 presidential elections offered no real choice. The theocratic bourgeois rulers would not allow any candidate opposed to the continuation of the present system to enter the election. Only four of about of 400 nominated candidates were permitted to run.

    Thus, Moussavi was also vetted by the authorities of the present system. He has in the past served as prime minister of the Islamic Republic and as such assumed responsibility for its repressive policies. It is simply because he offered a legal cover for expressing opposition to the present regime that he has emerged, at least in part and momentarily, as a symbolic leader of the mass movement. The extent of Moussavi’s control of the opposition movement or whether he will be able to maintain leadership are far from clear.

    The previous experience with the “liberal reformer” president, Khatami, who collapsed when the reactionary clerics clamped down, was deeply demoralizing for the masses who wanted a change. He is now a supporter of Moussavi. The outcome of the Khatami period also made it clear that the Iranian president had no real power, that the real power was vested in the “Supreme Leader,” Ayatollah Khamenei. It is he who has issued the orders for suppressing the protests. But he is unelected by the people and has little personal credibility. His decision to mobilize the repressive forces to crush the demonstrations inevitably tends to turn the movement against the Islamic Republic as such.

    3) It is in the interests of the Western bourgeoisie, who claim to rule on the basis of democracy in their own countries, to identify themselves publicly with the movement for democratic rights in Iran. But that does not mean that they really think that it would be in their interests for the movement to win. There have been a number of indications, most egregiously by the head of the Israeli secret service, Mossad, that they think that it will be more difficult for them to deal with the threat that Iran represents to their interests if the country is headed by a less discredited regime.

    In any case, the more intelligent U.S. leaders, represented by President Obama, have acknowledged that the U.S. has little credibility in Iran, especially because of its role in overthrowing the elected government of Mohammad Mossadegh in 1953, and installing the repressive dictatorship of Shah Mohammad Reza Pavlavi. The shah’s military shot down 50,000 Iranians who were peacefully demonstrating against his rule and brutally tortured and murdered tens of thousands opposed to his regime. The attempts of Republican Party politicians to wrap themselves in the mantle of the Iranian protesters are clearly a self-interested domestic political ploy and only make them look ridiculous.

    4) Socialist Action defends the mass struggle in Iran against the government’s violent repression, and we wholeheartedly support the demands of the Iranian people for democratic rights. We encourage the masses to organize themselves in their own interests and to not trust or subordinate themselves to any bourgeois politician or representative of the ruling elite.

    The present struggle shows the essential fallacy of bourgeois elections. This is a process the masses cannot control. They need to trust in their own organizations, in which they can participate and control. The rise of shoras (popular councils) in the 1979 revolution was an example that needs to be followed and taken further.

    Khamenei's claim that the elections were a glorious victory of the Iranian people is an outrage—especially when his own henchman, Larijani, says that most Iranians think they were a farce and hundreds of thousands of Iranians have shown a determination to denounce them in the face of threats of mass repression. It disastrously discredits the regime. We call for the people insulted by Khamenei’s claim to reject the entire process, and to find ways to express their real aspirations.

    Since the immediate aftermath of the 1979 revolution, the workers have been denied any right to organize themselves and to fight for their demands. Democratic rights are an essential demand for them, and it runs counter to the fundamental objectives of the Iranian capitalist class and the imperialists, who remain its big brothers, despite their demagogic pretenses.

    Socialist Action stands on the side of the masses. We know that there can be no socialism unless the masses and the workers have the freedom to express themselves.
    5) The attempts of the dominant clerical faction to demonize the protests as manipulated by foreigners or pro-imperialists are obviously self-interested demagogy. But it is nevertheless certain that the United States and other imperialist states will seek opportunities to exploit or intervene in the present conflict—including taking possible military action.

    Iran is surrounded by U.S. military bases, and there is abundant evidence that plans have been drawn up for aggression against Iran. It is an open secret that the U.S. has covert military teams operating in the country, even if so far only in remote frontier areas among marginalized ethnic groups.

    Nothing could be more deadly to the aspirations of the Iranian people to take their fate into their own hands than U.S. intervention. For that reason, the primary task of socialists, progressives, and friends of democracy in the United States, the imperialist state that bears the principal responsibility for the miseries of the Iranian people, is to expose, denounce, and mobilize against any attempt by the U.S. government to intervene in Iran.

    Clearly, the Iranian government’s ruthless repression of the mass movement demanding democratic rights increases the threat of U.S. intervention. Such policies will inevitably deepen divisions among the Iranian people. The best and ultimately the only effective defense of the gains of the Iranian Revolution and of the sovereignty of the Iranian people is the unity of the masses of the country behind a leadership that is prepared to once again mobilize in the millions to challenge and provide a real revolutionary and socialist alternative to the present repressive clerical capitalist state.

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