Saturday, 13 June 2009

Mullah Light Gets Creamed

What a surprise. Having restricted various websites, supporting opposition candidates, and external news sources, Iran's currrent President, Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, has been re-elected. See: BBC News . Yet, it has been clear in recent weeks, that there has been mounting opposition to Ahmedinjad, who has led the country into economic disaster, having failed to even meet the promises to his main support in the backward, rural areas. People have been trying to get out of Iran in rising numbers, whilst a young population, moving increasingly away from the medieavalism of the Islamic Republic, and adopting modernist ideas, seemed clearly to be supporting, heavily, Ahmedinjad's main rival - Mir Hossain Mousavi.

Even the Iranian Interior Ministry admitted that Mousavi had won the majority of votes in Tehran. Its likely that he would have won in other urban areas too, for the same reason. Just on the basis of simple mathematics then, it seems unlikely that it would be possible for Ahmedinejad to have secured the claimed two-thirds of the vote. The fact, that the regime moved, ahead of the result, to restrict movement and assemblies, showed it knew that there would be a reaction to such ballot-rigging.

However, it should be realised that this election, actually, offered no progressive solution for Iran's workers. All the candidates are reactionary Islamists, committed to "defending the Islamic Revolution", upon which has been built a reactionary, and repressive regime that systematically deprives workers, socialists, Trade Unionists, women and LGBT people of basic rights. Moreover, even if a progressive candidate could have stood in these elections, and won, it would have been largely symbolic, as real political power resides with the Mullahs, and the Supreme Leader. Of course, real power - as opposed to political power - resides with the Iranian bourgeoisie, which has grown in strength. In fact, the Islamic regime should be seen as playing a similar role to that played by the fascist regimes in Germany and Italy, in the 1920's and 1930's, or that of Franco in Spain. In the context of a popular revolution, against the Shah, in 1979, the mullahs hi-jacked the social unrest, and secured politicaal power as a safer bet, for the Iranian bosses, to the possibility of the revolution turning into a workers revolution. It has furthered the interests of the Iranian bourgeoisie, against Iranian workers, ever since, including the recent programme of privatisations.

But, just as the Spanish bourgeoisie did away with the fascist regime of franco eventually, and as the German and Italian bourgeoisie would have done with Hitler and Mussolini, when they had served their purpose, so the restrictions of the Islamic regime, for the development of a dynamic, modern, capitalist economy, and the restrictions on bourgeois freedom, that the regime places upon the capitalists, will, inevitably, lead that bourgeoisie to throw out the Islamists at some point. Whether the current unrest, arising from this current election fiasco, is it is hard to say.

Iranian workers should support any campaign for a democratic revolution in Iran against the Islamic regime, and workers, internationally, should give them every assistance in doing so. But, Iranian workers cannot rely on the bosses, in Iran, to carry through such a revolution, nor should they enter into any kind of political alliance with them to do so. The Iranian workers need to be the spearhead, themselves, of a democratic, political revolution in Iran, but should carry that revolution through, using proletarian not bourgeois methods. The strategy, outlined by Trotsky, for such a struggle, in France, in the 1930's, is the model.

See: The Action Programme For France .

That programme sets out the demands for a consistent democracy fought for on the basis of workers' demcoracy, of the establishment of Factory Committees, Peasant Committees, Workers Councils, Worrkers Militia etc., but also links this to a programme of demands to meet the workers' needs also. As Iran begins to question, openly, the rule and role of the Mullahs, the workers have to resolve not to be content with just some Mullah Light alternative to Ahmedinejad, nor to simply hang on to the coat-tails of the bourgeoisie - still less of relying on the intervention of some benevolent, democratic imperialism - but, to build their own self-activity, their own solutions to the growing problems of Iranian society, and the democratic, workers' organisations and forums that arise out of that. The Iranian workers have to rely on themselves and their fellow workers of the world working-class.

Workers of the World Unite - Defend and Support the Iranian Workers. Forward to the Iranian Workers Revolution

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