Iran, Gasoline on the Flames of People's Anger!



More than a week has passed since the regime of the Islamic Republic announced an increase, by as much as 300%, in fuel price. The Iranian masses responded immediately to the announcement by taking to the streets. Since November 15, 2019, wide protests and demonstrations have spread across the country in more than 100 cities. The masses expressed their anger at the gas price hike first, then quickly moved to occupying streets and highways, attacking the regime’s repressive forces, and financial looting centers: banks. The power and the extent of the response of the people to the gas price increase took the regime of the Islamic Republic by surprise. In a radio-television speech, the tyrannical "Supreme Leader", Khamenei, declared a crack down on the demonstrations and emphasized the implementation of the decision made by the three branches of the government about the gas price increase and called on the security forces and officials to carry out their duties. Khamenei, in the face of heightened protests and serious danger from the people, called on the factions of the regime to unite and rejected any withdrawal from the gas price hike. However, the protest movement continued, the slogans on the streets were radicalized, and people chanted "not only poverty, but the whole system has to go!" 

The protest movement threatened the whole apparatus of the ruling regime. The authorities of the capitalist regime of the Islamic Republic ordered a shutdown of the internet, closed down schools, universities, and football matches, shut down the subways, and even disconnected the domestic and international telephone communications. With the decree issued by the Supreme Leader, a bloody crackdown on "hooligans" started, and live bullets were aimed at the protesters. More than 100 people were killed, 1000 were arrested, and countless were injured. The regime declared control of the space and proclaimed "Victory over the internal enemy"!

The Party of Labour of Iran (Toufan) strongly condemns the repression of the just and legitimate demands of the Iranian people. We condemn the "Supreme Leader" for ordering the security and repressive state apparatus to fire on protesters. We take all factions and all three branches of the Islamic Republic to be responsible for intolerable economic and political conditions created for the working people of Iran.

The regime of the Islamic Republic of Iran continues to implement neo-liberal policies that cause high inflation and, consequently, poverty for the labourers. The regime’s economic policies have deepened the class gap between the 90% poor and the 10% rich of the country. The corruption and huge embezzlements by the authorities have put salt on the wounds of society. In addition, the financial and economic sanctions imposed by the U.S. imperialsts have sharply reduced the purchasing power of the working people. The reduction in oil sales has resulted in a budget deficit that has worsened the economic conditions for the majority of the people of Iran. 



Obviously, the bloody suppression of the people of Iran will not have a happy ending for the corrupt regime of the Islamic Republic. Even if the regime succeeds in putting down the movement, the deprived and downtrodden people of Iran will rise up once again and, if they are led by an organization with the correct political line, will knock the regime down.

The recent protests of people in Tehran and other cities of Iran against the rising fuel price, the continuation of the Islamic regime’s corruption and faulty economic policies, the lack of attention to people's livelihoods, and the suppression of the just demands of the people, show the need for political leadership that gives a clear direction and perspective and puts the people on a correct path of struggle. The lack of attention to this important need causes heavy damage to the protest movement of the people and gives the regime the chance and ability to suppress the demands of the masses. The Party of Labour of Iran (Toufan) has repeatedly voiced concerns in this arena, and has challenged the divisive views of various organizations whose work only results in sabotaging the movement:


First, it is unfortunate that there are organizations, parties, and forces that, instead of articulating the issue of organization and political leadership of spontaneous movements, trail behind them, or even vainly hope that either the spontaneous movements succeed by themselves or result in forming a revolutionary alternative. Within the labour movement, this view has been promoted by old and new Economists. If the spontaneous movements do not rely on the leadership of the communists who are equipped with the ideology of socialism, they will be distorted, compromised, or defeated by the ruling bourgeois ideology. The theory of Economists and false working class supporter is that the working class liberates itself and does not need a guardian or a party!

All the recent movements, from the struggles of university students in July of 1999, to the so-called "Green Movement" in June of 2009 , to the 2017 uprising,  to the various labour-teacher-retirees demonstrations, to strikes of Haft Tapeh sugar cane workers, they were only able to bring the discontent and displeasure of the various strata of the society to the scene, and the changes were mainly in the benefit of this or that regime’s faction and less so for the benefit of the masses. None of these movements had a communist leadership. The presence of the element  of communist-consciousness and its leadership role, will bring socialist awareness and techniques of struggle among the people and especially the workers, and will advance the struggle of the people for equality and freedom.

Secondly, in politics, also in revolution, we need political and revolutionary knowledge,  Marxism-Leninism. The working class and the people learn this knowledge outside their spontaneous movements. The theory of Marxism and scientific socialism, an unfamiliar to the vast masses of the working people, had to be taken to the working class by the vanguads of proletariat organized in the working class party. Some characterize the unity of "theory and practice", the unity of revolutionary theory of Marxism with spontaneous movements as an insult on the people and as interference in their work and their activities.

Those who adhere to and propagate the sacredness of the spontaneous movements and the non-interference of the theory of socialism in them, deny the historical experiences and numerous failures. They deny that the theory of independence and sacredness of spontaneous movements has been injected into working class movement from outside and by theoreticians like them.

We cannot have much hope for defeating the enemy and seizing political power unless we are able to learn and apply the techniques and rules of class and political struggle.

Based on historical experiences, we must promote that the working class needs unity and organization in order to lead the people's protest movements to their intended purposes. The Party of Labour of Iran (Toufan) has put this communist task on its agenda. We do not regard trailing behind the spontaneous protest movements which lack perspective as a way out of the current crisis. We evaluate it as trailing behind bourgeoisie and as a dead-end and political failure which damage the interest of workers and toilers. In the current critical situation in which the Iranian people are faced with a lack of political leadership and two internal and external enemies, our Party has a heavy duty on its shoulders .While promoting the Party as the organization of the working class, it invites all political forces and organizations, groups and national and revolutionary figures who call for the overthrow of the capitalist regime of the Islamic Republic by the revolutionary movement of the Iranian masses and who have a clear stance against the imperialist and Zionist interventions, for political cooperation and unity. The formation of such political and democratic cooperation is promising in the present situation and will have a lasting impact on the movement.

The Party of Labour of Iran (Toufan)

November 23, 2019