Our policy is NO to war, NO to sanctions, and NO to the Islamic Republic. We are against war and we will not stand by any side. Our party fights for the transition from the Islamic Republic to the establishment of a secular and democratic republic, relying on civil movements and democratic struggles of the Iranian people. We condemn war and leaning on foreign forces to establish alternatives to Islamic Republic.
Statements on the current political situation
Statements on the current political situation
The political situation has changed dramatically over the past few weeks. We have witnessed events that have had strong impact on the changing environment of our society. Among the latest developments are the US attack on Kataeb Hezbollah bases, the attack on the US embassy in Baghdad by Hashed Al Shaebi militia, the assassination of Suleimani, launching rockets on two US bases and the shooting of a Ukrainian passenger plane which resulted in killing 176 people. The government tried by organizing a three days mourning after Qassem Suleimani's death to restore its lost legitimacy as well as marginalizing the effects of the November uprising even temporarily. However, the airplane’s crash by the Revolutionary Guards, lies and concealment of truth by the government caused a major change in society and sparked widespread protests across the country. As student protests erupted in several universities, the country's political climate changed at the expense of the government and the government took a defensive stance. Below, given the significance of recent developments, we have addressed the current political situation in the form of a set of statements:
1. The Islamic Republic has fallen into economic crisis over the course of its forty-year tenure in pursuing hostile policy with the West, as well as in the face of broad US sanctions. The country's economy is in deep crisis due to government economic policies and sanctions. Oil sales have fallen to less than half a million barrels a day and foreign exchange earnings have fallen sharply. As a result the government is facing a severe budget deficit. So far, efforts to sell more oil have failed and the government is pressing the US to ease sanctions by taking radical measures and by creating tensions. On the other hand, by giving concessions to Russia and China and conducting joint maneuvers in Oman Sea the Islamic Republic has also sought to increase its pressure on the United States. The Islamic Republic's reliance so far has been on buying time and using the gap between the US and Europe, as well as enjoying the differences between the US and Russia and China.
2. The recent protests by the people of Lebanon, Iraq, and especially Iran have put the Islamic Republic in a weak position within the region and inside the country. Signing contracts between the Iraqi government on one hand and Russia and China on the other hand have also raised concerns for the Trump administration. Trump's targeting of the ‘Kataab Hezballah’ group which led to 25 killed and assassination of Qassim Suleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes was to show decisiveness in the region and weakening of the Islamic Republic’s position in Iraq. All these done to undermine the effects of congressional impeachment and its impact on US elections which could threaten his chance for re-election.
3. The Islamic Republic has been under heavy pressure in Iraq for the past few months. The recent US military operations have benefited the Islamic Republic situation in Iraq. As a result, the ranks of the Islamic Republic's opposition in Iraq were weakened and the position of its supporters strengthened. The political sphere turned to the benefit of the Islamic Republic so that opposition to Islamic State intervention in the shadow of anti-American sentiment temporarily subsided. The Trump campaign hit the Iraqi civil and democratic movement against the presence of Islamic Republic in their country.
4. Military operations mentioned above and especially the assassination of Suleimani, which should be regarded as a clear violation of Iraqi sovereignty, was another gift given by Trump administration to the Islamic Republic in order to strengthen its damaged position both domestically and in Iraq temporarily. Through his actions, Trump removed the government from the pressure of the November uprising and strengthened the position of the most regressive part of the government and the military and security segments. After the assassination, the emotions and bonds of the regime's supporters were stimulated, creating an atmosphere in which even reformists publicly celebrated the "Brave Commander" and issued various statements praising Qassim Suleimani. Instead of reinforcing the struggle against the Islamic Republic's interventionist policies in the region and Suleimani's negative role in implementing these policies, his role in the fight against ISIS was magnified and the regime's interventionist policies were overshadowed.
5. The Islamic Republic succeeded in producing a false nationalist atmosphere in the country after Suleimani's assassination. The government was able to attract some seculars towards its policies. Suleimani's coronation in three Iraqi cities and Iranian cities of Ahwaz, Qom, Mashhad, Tehran and Kerman and the announcement of three days of public mourning on the grounds of martyrdom and rosary history drew many people to the funeral. The set of measures created such an atmosphere that it virtually marginalized the rulers' crime in the November uprising temporarily. Filling the gaps within the system through unity against the foreign enemy is the regime's main tactic in dealing with crisis. The government with its catastrophic policy of "strategic depth" and the deployment of the "Quds Force" in the region has engaged our country in virtually all of the Middle East conflicts and engaged in frictions with Arab countries.
6. The widespread public participation of Soleimani’s funeral represents the bitter reality that the regime has succeeded in recent years to propagate a false sense of nationalism in the country and to conceal its own plans by spreading propaganda in the context of people’s general concern over the tragic situation of the Region and the impression that national security is at stake.
7. The Islamic Republic’s coordinated “revenge” in retaliation for Qasem Soleimani’s death was the missile attack aimed at two US bases in Iraq. An action that was ultimately beneficial to both sides. But, another crime took place alongside this calculated exchange of fire that shattered all the equations: shooting down a Ukrainian passenger aircraft by the Islamic Republic of Iran. After three days of denial, the government of Iran had to admit its deadly “mistake” and justify its lies and concealment of the truth. They claimed that the plane was shot down without the government’s knowledge. This aroused public outrage and revived the civil protest movement. The great efforts of our artists to declare their participation in festivals, concerts, exhibitions and invitations to commemorate the victims of the tragedy were a major step towards national solidarity. The process of students and people’s protests accelerated and disrupted the goal of the Islamic Regime of managing people’s protests.
8. The people’s protests from different backgrounds and the most prominent of them, the students, for the crime that was committed and the attempt to conceal it, like all other cases, resonated again. What the regime tried to erase from the public’s memory, was further revealed. This time slogans resonated more directly and with no fears. The widespread reflection of the catastrophe in the world, created restrictions on the regime of Iran, that it could not kill people, such that they did in the uprising in November. Despite the large number of well-known protesters being arrested and subjected to torture, the protests of the Iranian people in combat against the government have entered a new phase, of which the core is that the people’s trust in the government and Khamenei has been shaken.
9. Khamenei’s remarks in the Friday prayer in Tehran were a showcase of the Islamic Republic’s blind eye to the realities of society and country crisis. He reduced the protesters in more than a hundred cities to “several hundred” and summed up the whole nation in mourners for Soleimai’s death. He appreciated the revolutionary guards and its commanders, but was content with a simple regret about the tragedy of the passenger plane. He condemned the protesters dissatisfied people with the performance of the Islamic Regime and attacked European governments. By attacking the European governments, there was virtually no other way for Europeans than to align with the Trump administration against the Islamic Republic. He, again, invited everyone to participate in an election in which nearly one hundred members of the current parliament were announced to be disqualified. Khamenei showed that the Islamic Republic regime is crumbling down and there is no way back. His speech remarked the weakness and mismanagement of the Islamic Republic’s government in facing of the current crisis.
10. Tension between the Islamic Republic and the US government have intensified, but both governments have avoided war. At the moment, for the Trump administration, what matters is the media and war atmosphere, not the war itself. The atmosphere that he has ruled over America’s relationship with other governments since he came to power, has been to boost the Arms market. The Islamic Republic also needs this troubled atmosphere more than ever, to unite its ranks and supress the protests of the Iranian people. The relief of the crisis that culminated in the death of Soleimani and had kept the breath in fear of war, confirms that the parties are not currently seeking war despite their different adventurous statements and actions. The outbreak of war undermines all of the Trump administration’s commitments among its supporters to avoid war, and Khamenei knows that he will face consequences in the event of a war.
11. There is no sign that the period of tension in relations between the US and the Islamic Republic (IR) is declining yet. If we do not face with unpredictable events that lead to military conflict, most likely the situation could continue until the presidential elections in the US. At the same time, considering the needs of both sides, change in the situation is not impossible. It is also not ruled out that with pullback by both sides and presentation of solutions by mediation forces the situation may calm down. For instance, changes in sanction policy and limited purchase of oil by other countries might happen. Such changes could save the IR of choking and pave the way for further negotiations. At the same time, different trends, including the European actions to activate the trigger mechanism in JCPOA, could lead to the return of the UN Security Council sanctions.
12. The hasty approval of the law of the US withdrawal from Iraq is a political blow to the US, but has little practical aspect. Kurds and Sunnis did not participate in this decision-making and formal agreements on the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Sunni areas and especially in Kurdistan, gives the US freedom of operations in Iraq. However, the US withdrawal has made Russia happy more than the IR. The decision has immediate impact on the balance of power in Syria. Implementation of this law requires necessary arrangements and, of course, should include other countries including the IR, too. Implementation of this decision by inviting the United Nations to fill the vacuum left by the withdrawal of foreign forces is very important.
13. Policies of the US and its allies have created chaos, hostility and proxy wars in the Middle East and the region and provided fertile ground for extremist forces such as ISIS. The US imperialist and hegemonic policies has put peace and stability in the region at risk. The way out of the intimidation and war atmosphere is call for dialogue between hostile sides, break form the circle of hostility and war, suspension of the production of nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction and their destruction, democratization and secularization of the political and social structures in the region, orientation toward economic, political and cultural cooperation, rather than becoming a large arms cache of powerful states.
14. While we have a clear opposition stance against the US government interventionist and dominant approach, we condemn military interventions and provocations of the IR in the countries of the region. We demand the withdrawal of the US military forces and retreat of the IR from Syria, Iraq and Yemen. Regional policy of the Iranian regime has had military, political, economic, and social consequences and still does for our country. Struggle to shove the IR from its contentious and expansionist foreign policy is the fight against one of the main pillars of its durability and existence.
15. Now, center of the US and IR showdown is focused in Iraq. Continuation of this process can still be followed by risk of direct confrontation between the two in Iraq. State terrorism and proxy war of the two countries against each other in Iraq, are in violation of the Iraq's independence and sovereignty and we condemn it. We believe that the United Nations engagement in the dispute between the two governments in a situation that has been imposed on Iraq is necessary and positive.
16. Our policy is “No to War and Sanction” and “No to the Islamic Republic.” We are against war and will not stand by any side of the warmongers. Our party fights for transition from the IR and establishment of a secular and democratic republic by reliance on civil and political movements and democratic struggles of the Iranian people and condemns any appeal to war and alternative making by foreign forces.
The Central Council of the Left Party of Iran (People’s Fadaian)
January 21 2020