Iranian leftist party Tudeh releases statement on Iran protests

by The Region    


The central committee of the underground Tudeh party of Iran released a statement on Sunday declaring its solidarity with protests targetting "spiralling poverty, deprivation, high prices and chronic unemployment."

Calling the Iranian ruling establishment "a regime that has brought nothing to our nation except destruction and cultural, political and economic regress", Tudeh also declared that should the resistance in Iran expand, it should only do so "through a joint struggle of all the national and the freedom-loving forces without foreign intervention".

Iran is currently seeing some of the biggest protests since the "green revolution" of 2009 against allegations of election fraud that brought president Mahmoud Ahmedinejad into power for a second term.

Tens of thousands have taken to the streets in protests that began in Mashhad city in the northeast and have spread to urban metropolises such as Isfahan and Tehran.

The protests seem to be comprised of many social classes and have no apparent leader behind them. Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader has accused the "enemies of Iran" of orchestrating them.

"Contrary to the claims of some leaders of the pro-regime reformists that such protests are conspiracies", the statement by Tudeh reads, "we deeply believe that the majority of the people of our nation are disappointed and frustrated with the slogans of those whose only objectives are to make some cosmetic and minor adjustments to the current regime" Tudeh contended in a statement probably directed towards reformists within the Iranian establishment.

Tudeh however, also warned about the potential for Israel and the United States to co-opt what they declared to be a grassroots struggle against Iran's theocratic rule. Among the forces in the appeal that Tudeh believes protesters should be wary of, they named "the regional reactionaries, the Trump administration, the right-wing government of Netanyahu and the Iranian monarchists".    

With a retrospective look at history, Tudeh also warned of letting "the past repeat itself", an apparent reference to the Islamic revolution of 1979. 
Tudeh was formed in 1941 as a radical leftist party that won the support of broader Iranian society in a very small period of time. They played a large role in helping Mosaddegh come to power in Iran with the promise of nationalising the oil industry and have throughout the history of Iran, been targetted by successive Iranian regimes. During the reign of the Pahlavi dynasty before the 1979 revolution, its key organisers were imprisoned, kidnapped and murdered.

After the 1979 revolution, the Tudeh party was forced to go underground in the wake of a massive purge of leftists by Khomeini. In between the periods of June 1981 and June 1985 alone, and alongside Kurds, Fedayins, and National Front supporters,  Tudeh members were among the 8,000 "opponents" sentenced to death by "revolutionary" courts.

In 1988, Amnesty International suggested that over 5000 individuals were killed in a massacre targetting political prisoners in Iran, many of which were members of Tudeh.

It is believed that the central committee of Tudeh lives in exile, although there are also Tudeh members who reside in Iran with secrecy.