Documents of the Iranian Revolutionary Movement
from Urgent Tasks Number 10
by Organization of Iranian People's Fedayee Guerillas, People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran and Moslem Student Society (U.S.A.)
Tactically, we must never consider that the enemy is weak, however beaten it may appear at a given encounter, for we are engaged in combat with the most powerful anti-popular force in history the imperialism of America.
U.S. Imperialist Policy and the New Political Authority Over the Last Year
by the Organization of Iranian People's Fedayee Guerrillas
To adopt a correct policy for the anti-imperialist, democratic struggle of the Iranian peoples, a precise evaluation of U.S. imperialist policy which for the past 25 years has had Iran under its domination is of utmost importance.
The anti-imperialist, democratic struggle of the Iranian peoples is a struggle between the capitalist class, on the one hand, and the proletariat and petty bourgeoisie on the other.
In accord with thousands of facts at hand, the major support of the rule and existence of Iran's capitalists comes from world imperialism headed by the United States.
Therefore, the struggle against capitalism (which is entirely a dependent one) is not only inseparable from the anti-imperialist struggle, but fundamentally these two struggles are one and the same.
With the growing crisis of Iran's dependent capitalism, which is intimately influenced by the general ups and downs of the imperialist camp, a split was created in the rule of the monopolistic and dependent capital. The intensification of the existing economic crisis, as well as the split in the Shah's dictatorship, and the growing contradiction between the different factions within U.S. imperialism, escalated the people's struggle which in turn heightened still further the crisis within the dependent capitalist economy.
U.S. imperialism, along with the persistent growth of the people's struggle, continually changed its policy so as to adapt to the new power balance between the people's movement and ruling powers. Its hope was to block additional broadening of the people's movement as much as possible, and to pave the way for the complete repression of the movement.
U.S. imperialism knew well as early as 1977 that the rule of monopoly capital in its prior form could not persist and was not capable of continuing its livelihood and of controlling things as before.
At this time, the U.S. concluded that it was necessary to allow other factions of the capitalists, namely the liberal bourgeoisie, to share political power to prevent the complete disintegration of the capitalist class.
The U.S. tried to drive this point home to the Shah before it was too late. But as a first step the Shah's regime put Jamshid Amouzegar's bureaucratic-technocratic cabinet into power to overcome the economic crisis by beefing up the executive power branch.
At that time, the U.S. still imagined that a cabinet headed by Ali Amini could be effective, but the Shah insisted on Amouzegar's cabinet. When anything less than Karim Sanjabi or Shapour Bakhtiar could not act as a tranquilizer for the Shah's faltering regime, the Shah insisted on Shariff Emami [from a well-known religious family, to try to defuse the Islamic opposition], and when he finally accepted Bakhtiar, the people's movement not only discarded any possibility of the Shah's presence, but also had the least trust for a liberal alternative.
George Ball, political advisor to the U.S. State Department, at the beginning of Fall 1978, after realizing that the progression of the people's movement made it impossible for the dependent, monopolistic capital to continue its single-handed rule, evaluated five possible alternatives for political rule. From these five he chose three of them, and in accordance with each submitted a specific plan to the U.S. State Department.
Below we have summarized George Ball's five objectives stated in Marxist terminology:
1) The case where the rule is in the possession of the entire capitalist class. This requires an alliance between monopoly capital that has complete power in its possession and the liberal bourgeoisie to share political power.
2) The case where the rule is in the possession of the entire capitalist class (both monopolistic and liberal) and small capital, each being represented in the state power.
3) The case where the rule of monopoly capital is rejected, and political rule is shared by the representatives of liberal and small capital.
4) The case where the capitalist class as a whole is rejected from the political sphere, and political authority held by representatives of small capital and the proletariat, the former having the upper hand.
5) The case where the entire capitalist class is rejected from power, which is in turn held by representatives of small capital and the proletariat, the latter having the upper hand.
George Ball's first plan, which saw the end of an indisputable dictatorship by the monopoly capital ists, urged the U.S. government to support the liberals, whom he considered the best and most trustworthy partners of the Shah's regime; the U.S. conformed to this first plan.
At the beginning of Fall 1978, they still believed that only by supporting the liberal faction of the dependent capitalists and allowing its participation in political rule would dependent capitalism be preserved.
This plan of U.S. imperialism was welcomed in Iran by the liberals. They pulled out the old slogans of the national bourgeoisie from the scrap heap of history, such as "the Shah must rule, not dictate," "the constitution must be activated," and "the Shah's Parliament must be dissolved and free elections held immediately."
With these slogans the liberals were really telling the Shah that, "the U.S. even favors our participation in political rule." The liberals at that time were actively advertising these slogans to use the people's movement as a means of acquiring their position in politics which had been vacant for the past 15 years.
The practical application of George Ball's first plan, favored heavily by the liberals, would mean that "the Shah would rule and remain chief of the armed forces," Amini, Mehdi Bazargan, Sanjabi and the like would become prime minister, and in this way the shaky rule of the monopoly capital would become the rule of the entire capitalist class, capable of protecting its interests.
But this plan was implemented too late to save the crisis-stricken and bankrupt regime of the Shah, which was driven to the edge of its grave by the people's movement.
From then on, U.S. imperialism activated its second plan. Many diplomatic attempts began to facilitate an alliance between monopolistic, middle (liberal), and small capital and "a national alliance government" or in the words of Shariff Emani, "national reconciliatory government."
The trips made by Ramsey Clark and General Robert Huyser's mission were precisely aimed at such an end. In favor of the second plan, the liberal bourgeoisie raised the slogan, "the Shah must rule, not dictate." It attempted to restrict the role of monopoly capital by allowing the middle and to some extent small capital to find a way into the political arena.
From the liberal capitalists, Bazargan and Sanjabi went into action as the main mediators between Tehran and Paris to finalize the deal. From Jamshidieh Prison [a political prison at an army base] to the Niavaran Palace [the royal palace] and from Niavaran to Neuphel Le Chateau [Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's exile home in France].
This occurred while a wave of workers' strikes strengthened the people's movement. The U.S. agreed to give some concessions to prevent the complete failure of the second plan, and accepted a "national alliance" without the Shah. As the last acceptable solution, the U.S. suggested that the army participate in the talks instead of the Shah.
The bidding over the specifics of this agreement plan began with much acuteness and intensity. Bazargan, Ayatollah Mohammad Behesti, General Gharebaghi, and Sanjabi, the famous members of the orchestrated agreement conducted by Huyser, began practicing new arrangements. Initially, there was agreement on Gholam-Hossen Seddeghi as a compromise, but finally Bakhtiar took the stage.
World imperialism's decision became finalized in Guadalupe that the Shah, the only chance for the monopolistic faction of dependent capitalism in Iran, and primary organizer of the dictatorial machine which protected the interests of this faction, "must go," and that no agreement including him was possible. It became especially clear that .any further resistance would jeopardize any other agreements still possible. The people's movement was strong and would surely turn to armed struggle against further resistance by the Shah's regime, U.S. imperialism being the primary loser.
The middle (liberal) capitalist was well informed of the danger the people's movement posed to capitalism. By taking advantage of the inconsistency, hesitancy, and worry of the petty bourgeoisie about the spreading people's movement, and the fact that it had lost control of the situation as well, the middle capitalists accepted the plan of shared rule as a way to get control of the movement.
The petty bourgeoisie strove to get into power easily by taking the utmost advantage of the fear of the imperialists and dependent capitalists of the people's movement.
The petty bourgeoisie continually warned that, "the Shah is a goner," and that the sooner he leaves the better, since too much hesitation would lead to complete inability to control the people's movement. If this were to occur it would mean nothing less than George Ball's fourth or fifth alternative. Then the political authority would be in the possession of the communists and revolutionary petty bourgeoisie, both of which would exclude completely the capitalist class rule.
It is only natural then that the liberal bourgeoisie would agree to compromise with the petty bourgeoisie to prevent their complete loss of power.
The petty bourgeoisie strove to compromise with the army, the second pillar of the dependent capitalists after the monarchy. According to U.S. imperialism, this was one of the "most positive" and "wisest" policies of the clergy. A three-way effort to preserve the army was begun by the three factions. Much effort was spent to permit the army to stand on its own feet, because each in the future would need to use the army to encircle the people's movement and preserve class society.
But the military's power, hard pressed by the people, was crushed. With the escape of the Shah, the army was unable to operate. The escalation of the heroic people's struggle left no room for plan two. The uprising marked the end and complete failure of this plan. The army faltered, and monopoly capitalism had nothing left to bargain with. The efforts to bring about the second plan were buried so forcefully by the widespread people's movement that the remaining plans of collaboration were also greatly affected.
U.S. imperialism now began the step-by-step program to implement plan three.
The first step in the agreement between the liberal and traditional petty bourgeoisie would have to be accomplished in a manner leading to the gradual possession of the executive organs (bureaucratic system and army) by the liberal bourgeoisie. The second step would have to facilitate the initiation of the plan two entry of monopoly capital into the political sphere. Therefore, during the first step it would be necessary to preserve the strength of monopoly capital as much as possible. In the third step, the petty bourgeois organs would have to be rejected or transformed to allow the initiation of plan one, or the rule of the factions of dependent capitalism. In the final step, monopoly capital would get hegemony of political rule as the only true representative of dependent capitalism.
U.S. imperialism had certain strengths and weaknesses with regard to its intended strategy. The primary difficulty of the U.S. was that during the last 15 years of unrestrained rule by the monopolistic faction of dependent capitalism, the liberal bourgeoisie was so crushed that it could not take power. It had neither mass support of any size nor any economic strength. This faction was not one to count on, but the strength of U.S. imperialist policy lay elsewhere. The traditional petty bourgeoisie, under the leadership of the clergy whose power and influence in the people's movement increased daily and became more established, could not "be its own master" because of its political and class backwardness. Because of relative backwardness of proletarian class consciousness in realizing its interests (meaning the backwardness of the subjective aspect of the proletarian movement), the traditional petty bourgeoisie took over leadership of the people's movement.
This leadership had neither a plan for itself nor a specific political line. It had neither a concrete policy nor anything else required to be able to gain complete power, form a government, and manage it. The traditional petty bourgeoisie was in a situation in which, on the one hand, because of its lack of class awareness, it did not unite with the proletariat nor could the proletariat show it the necessity of such a unity, and on the other hand, again, because of its lack of class and political awareness, it did not have a definite plan to take power into its own hands.
Therefore, it is no surprise that to the extent that the traditional petty bourgeoisie had to rely on the people's support to defeat the monopoly capitalists, to the same extent it will be unable to establish a new rule and/or rid itself of the influence of imperialism.
The imagination of the petty bourgeoisie regarding a philosophy of ruling was so backward that it could not do better than using Vellayate Faghieh [the highest religious arbiter of political, legal, and military authority] and caliphate system as a model; that which is essentially item-by-item contradictory to the present system; that which has the least compatibility with the age of imperialism and proletarian revolution. The subjective backwardness of the petty bourgeoisie was greater than that necessary even to imagine how they wanted to reorganize a complex dependent capitalist system to fulfill petty bourgeois interests.
Only those forces which have the least faith in Vellayate Faghieh could take control of the executive organs and social foundations of this system. In addition, historically the petty bourgeoisie can never be its own master. Sooner or later it has to give the rule to someone else. This does not mean that the petty bourgeoisie cannot take control of the political machine, but only if the conservative petty bourgeoisie is transformed into the revolutionary and future-minded petty bourgeoisie can this occur. Therefore, that petty bourgeois element whose understanding of revolution is turning over the power to the Faghieh is not capable of taking power and being its own master, because it is not future-minded and cannot see the necessity of unity with the proletariat; it sees the liberal bourgeoisie as its ally.
The petty bourgeoisie must entrust control of affairs, which it had received because of its popular base of support, to the liberal bourgeoisie, and in turn it tries to use the organs of power made during the revolt, and the people's pressure, to control the liberal bourgeoisie. For example, Ayatollah Khomeini knew well that Hasan Nazieh [Justice minister in Bazargan's government] "is not one of us!", but he put him at the head of the oil company and believes that, with the help of the people supporting him, he can persuade Nazieh to work for the petty bourgeoisie. Generals Gharaney, Shaker, and Moinfar; Admiral Mohammad Madani; Bazargan; Sanjabi and others, all of whom are at the head of affairs, are not petty bourgeois. But the petty bourgeoisie is using them and has even put them in leading positions in the bureaucracy and army. Even with all of the suspicion it has of their loyalty, it compromises with them and gives them official power. U.S. imperial ism began complex maneuvers at the time of the revolt. It tried painstakingly to create unity between the liberal bourgeoisie and traditional petty bourgeoisie, and to attract the trust of Ayatollah Khomeini and Ayatollah Taleghani to the liberals. U.S. imperialism strove to increase the unity and trust between the petty bourgeoisie and liberal bourgeoisie by emphasizing and propagating the "danger of communism." When we look at lists of members of Bazargan's cabinet and the army, we observe that George Ball's plan three has been executed successfully. However, the revolutionary spirit among the people resulted in the impotence of the government. The workers and employee committees, the local committees and unofficial armed power, the same G-3 machine guns which Bazargan says must be collected if progress is to be made, do not allow Mr. Bazargan to feed the soup that Mr. George Ball had prepared for the people who had revolted. The U.S. deeply regretted that by not Recognizing the situation and acting to preserve the Shah's regime, they were unable to prevent the people's revolt, and were forced to deal out a vital portion of the power outside of its established sphere, that is, to the petty bourgeoisie.
With all that, the U.S. persistently tried to support the government and to direct Ayatollah Khomeini's faction even closer to the liberal bourgeoisie and to allot more power to the cabinet.
The class power struggle between the liberal bourgeoisie represented by Bazargan and Ayatollah Shariat-Madari and the traditional petty bourgeoisie represented by Ayatollah Khomeini is seen in the struggle over the name of the republic of Iran as to whether it should be "Islamic" or "Islamic Democratic," the struggle over the power of the revolutionary committees and courts, the struggle over the purging of persons who worked for the Shah's regime, the struggle over the amount of confiscation of the possessions of the big bourgeoisie, and many others.
Immediately after the revolt, U.S. imperialism officially recognized Iran's new government, and quickly and steadfastly strove to prevent an occurrence which would weaken the Bazargan government. Economic relations continued whole primary resources, parts, and generally necessary goods which could have set the dependent economy's wheels back into motion but stopped after the revolt all started anew. Imports were still generously sent, and the U.S. strove to help Bazargan's government to regain the control of affairs which during the revolt had gone over to the petty bourgeoisie. Now the U.S. had but one hope, that Bazargan's government could ride the hardships, get the governmental organs functioning, and get back the power lost during the uprising and after. The U.S. expected that if Bazargan's government could survive the economic crisis and rebuild the economy, his political situation would be established soundly. After the political leaning of Ayatollah Khomeini became evident upon choosing Bazargan as prime minister and the subsequent appointment of ministers by Bazargan, the U.S. naturally had greater hope for the future than previously. All-around support of Bazargan's government, and a continual attempt to transform compromise to identity between Bazargan and Ayatollah Khomeini, are tactics which U.S. imperialism used during the first few months after the revolt, which were welcomed warmly by the liberal bourgeoisie.
But the hope of U.S. imperialism as a result of the formation of Bazargan's cabinet could not help but turn to despair when the power of the people and their stand against Bazargan became clear. The revolutionary committees of the workers, employees, soldiers, and officers, the growth of the struggle within the oppressed peoples, the role of the revolutionary committees, and the rapid growth in political awareness of the people all hindered the implementation of plan three and forced it to fail in the first step.
Bazargan's government in the first six months was unsuccessful in accomplishing any one of the programs that U.S. imperialism had in mind. The power that was not in the hands of the official power structure, but in the authority of anti-imperialist clergy who all accepted the leadership of Ayatollah Khomeini, acted powerfully. The closeness between the liberal bourgeoisie and traditional petty bourgeoisie had come to a dead end, and the repressive attack of the petty bourgeoisie on the left and revolutionary groups, besides putting the left and radicals under pressure initially, also reduced the share of power of the liberal bourgeoisie. The liberal bourgeoisie had lost the elections to the "assembly of experts" [to draft the constitution].
The position of armed forces chief was directly given to Ayatollah Khomeini, and once again the revolutionary courts, guards, and committees obtained more preferable conditions. Over all, the repressive attacks in August from the right wing's oppressive stand in the first phase put the left groups under extreme pressure. But the liberal bourgeoisie also lost ground; whereas the second phase specifically enhanced the popularity of the petty bourgeois leadership, the weakening of the petty bourgeois position after it gave the command to attack Kurdistan was observed all over Iran., Most importantly, the weakening in support was from the people who were the only real foundation of the petty bourgeois strength. Considering the deep economic crisis as well, the stage was set for the growth of the workers' movement.
The U.S. hastened to take advantage of this situation. The major reasons for the change of U.S. policy in backing the Iranian petty bourgeois rule were the defeat the U.S. faced in trying to unite and identify the petty bourgeois policy with that of the liberal bourgeoisie, and the weakening of the people's support of the petty bourgeoisie.
Until August the progression on plan three was slow.
U.S. imperialism, by grouping together the liberal and petty bourgeoisie, had not achieved anything, and the execution of many of the dependent, monopolistic representatives had at least paralyzed this force for a long period of time.
Only one thing was left at this point for U.S. imperialist policy the intensification of the petty bourgeois fear of communism and Iran's communist movement. U.S. imperialism hoped to bring about unity between the petty and liberal bourgeoisie by intensifying the contradiction between the traditional petty bourgeoisie in power and the communist, workers' and general "left" movements in Iran. This way plan three could be transformed into plan two, and finally plan one, to obtain the initial status quo.
The attack on Kurdistan, attacks on progressive political organizations, the closing of tens of newspapers and magazines, and the creation of a repressive environment are the most obvious examples of the victory of U.S. imperialist policy. U.S. imperialism was able, under the slogan of "no to east, no to west," to lead the petty bourgeoisie into an action against its own historical interests and its historical allies. U.S. imperialism strove to incorporate an anti-communist, anti-proletarian and anti-democratic line into that of the petty bourgeoisie, and was successful. The subjective backwardness of the petty bourgeoisie again led it into the trap set by U.S. imperialism, a trap whose goal was to excite an unaware petty bourgeoisie against the communist movement and revolutionary groups, and by frightening it of communism to lure it toward itself. But the petty bourgeoisie only accepted half of imperialism's suggestions. It strongly opposed and oppressed the communist and revolutionary movement, without directly shaking the extended hand of monopoly capitalism.
The defeat of small capital's naive policy in Kurdistan, the escalation of the economic crisis, the increase in workers' strikes, and in general the spread of concrete class struggle, brought the petty bourgeoisie slightly to its senses. Along with "no to east, no to west," Vellayate Faghieh was defeated to some extent, and a new turn in its policy developed. This turn was essentially anti-U.S. imperialism and against the liberal bourgeoisie's attempts to take greater power and make more agreements with the U.S.
On the other hand, all indications show that U.S. imperialism from the beginning of September had definitely reached the conclusion that its policy to come closer to Khomeini and increase its support to the ineffective Bazargan government was useless. The petty bourgeoisie still did not show a readiness to initiate plan two, and was stubborn in this regard. U.S. attempts to attract the petty bourgeoisie remained ineffective. Therefore, a series of secret and open moves began, which in all cases were essentially to unite the injured front of the dependent capitalist class.
The exposures by the Organization of Iranian People's Fedayee Guerrillas, "Moslem student followers of the Imam's line," and other revolutionary forces, revealed many important facts. This reality could have influenced the correct line chosen by the revolutionary forces leading to positive ends. In response the U.S. tried to unite all the bourgeoisie by using covers as liberals for all of them. The political advisors in the U.S. began their work. Visits and meetings with the liberals within and without the political framework began. The, monopolistic bourgeoisie, too weak to be represented, joined the liberal bourgeoisie.
The National Front and Madani, the Islamic Republican Party, Bakhtiar abroad, Ayatollah Shariat- Madari and other clergy supporting him, the Radical Movement, one faction of the Freedom Movement, factions within the army, some clergy using the Imam's line as a cover, Ghashghaii landlords, the Molavi and Sardars of Baluchistan, Bakhtiari landlords and many others initiated widespread moves to join forces. U.S. imperialism developed elaborate and effective means of contacting these groups, which were supported by real and false liberal bourgeoisie.
Trips to the U.S. by Ibrahim Yazdi, the plan of Shariat-Madari to contact the U.S., Madani's attempt to establish contact with the U.S., the relation of members of the Freedom Movement with the U.S. embassy, and finally the important meetings by Mustafa Chamran, Bazargan, and Yazdi at Algeria with Zbigniew Brzezinski are examples of such contacts which essentially were aimed at dispersing the petty bourgeoisie and uniting the capitalist front.
The liberal-religious cover of this front could satisfy the people's antifascist and anti-dictatorial inclinations. After the victory over the Shah's dictatorship, the level of awareness of the people is at such a level that only with the help of freedom-loving guises can the capitalists trick the people. A religious cover has also been effective in misleading the people because of their religious piety and the role of the traditional petty bourgeoisie.
From the beginning of last fall, U.S. imperialism has tried with one strong and nationwide liberal alternative to get power and replace the petty bourgeoisie's influence with it.
But the intensification of activity by U.S. imperialism and its internal allies to organize a strong alternative power did not stay unanswered by the traditional petty bourgeoisie. The above-mentioned activities, along with growing worry by small capital about the liberals and their contact with the U.S. embassy, organized a new attack on U.S. imperialism and the bourgeoisie, the most striking of which was the taking of the U.S. embassy.
The tactic of taking the embassy, whether from a political or organizational viewpoint, was petty bourgeois in nature. It was the most apparent example of the anarchist tendencies and the anger of a backward petty bourgeoisie. The taking of the embassy was an example of the petty bourgeoisie's weakness in coping with ever-conspiring imperialism.
Facts show that U.S. imperialism knew well that its change in tactics with regard to political rule would initiate negative reactions towards its policy in Iran to the point that the U.S. should not expect good relations with Khomeini's faction in the short run. But the U.S. did not imagine that the petty bourgeoisie would use the takeover of its embassy tactically. After the takeover, different political forces took stands in response to it. Except for a few scattered left groups, almost all forces backed the occupation of the U.S. embassy. A new movement revolving about anti-imperialist struggle formed. The authority of the followers of "the Imam's line," especially Khomeini himself, who because of the war in Kurdistan had lost much of his support, was boosted. With his speech in the third week of October, Ayatollah Khomeini regained much of his strength. Khomeini wanted everyone to direct their pens and rifles toward the big devil, meaning the U.S., which materialized to some extent. Millions of people over several consecutive weeks, several times a week gathered in front of the center of U.S. spying and gave anti-U.S. imperialist slogans.
Several interviews with Ayatollah Khomeini by foreign correspondents, intended to belittle and expose the U.S., were- published. The semi-anarchist tactic of hostage-taking became a means of letting the world know of the oppression imposed on our people over the years.
Imperialist media also started their own propaganda. More than ever they broadcast so-called anti-reaction propaganda, and emphasized and advertised the executions, especially those of prostitutes; the veil and the woman question; unemployment and economic problems; censorship and anti-democratic pressures; whipping and religious judges, etc. The image that the radio and television networks of Europe and the U.S. had created of the "Imam's line" and Khomeini himself was an image of reaction, of wanting to take everything back temporarily. Reaction was the essence of the images of the ruling clergy on the television and media in Europe and the U.S. They all introduced Khomeini as the enemy of advancement and symbol of petrification.
After the occupation of the embassy, pressure to weaken the position of small capital, and to pull under its internal hold as quickly as possible, became even stronger. From December, Ayatollah Shariat-Madari officially and outright declared war. The occurrences when police and soldiers shot demonstrators in Ghom and Tabriz, and confrontations in Esfahan between leftist students and Revolutionary Guards and secret interactions in Mashhad [where Revolutionary Guards spied on workers for the police] are examples of the dependent capitalists' boldness and aggression. In these months Shariat-Madari and Khomeini, who on last year's Norooz [Iranian New York] both voted for the Islamic Republic, broke the framework of unity and openly and officially opposed each other. The Islamic People's Party in Tabriz even went to the point of open revolt, giving the slogan "death to Khomeini," and counter-attacks came from all directions. Nothing came about of the ordeal, and the party was put in its place.
On the other hand, just when the direction of the exposures by the "Moslem students following the Imam's line" changed from exposing U.S. spies to exposing Iranian spies; when the national direction of the struggle based on exposure shifted to class struggle against the liberal capitalists; and Moghadam Maragheii, Amir Entezam and Amir Minachi were exposed as spies and collaborators with the U.S.; the middle capitalist group, in response to the petty bourgeoisie within the ruling political structure, took on a divisive position. The support during previous glorious marches, which was accepted by all the groups, this time was transformed into disagreement, objections, and slanderous comments. The Revolutionary Council openly resisted the students, and it was only the revolutionary left groups which really called for the continuing exposure with no restrictions or limitations. These exposures, if they were to continue to be all-encompassing, would have injured the political organization of dependent capital even more than the execution of members of the Shah's regime. But the liberal bourgeoisie was both a partner of the thief and a friend of the victim. It wanted both to be friends with the petty bourgeoisie and to get its share from U.S. imperialism. It also tried to explain to the petty bourgeoisie that its backwardness is curable only if there is a close relationship between the petty bourgeoisie and the liberals which would protect it from the U.S. The exposures of the "Moslem students following the Imam's line," first a means of rejecting completely the liberal bourgeoisie, became a means of terrifying the liberals and forcing them to become inactive; the microphone in the embassy became a means for the petty bourgeoisie to control the bourgeoisie's drive for power. This microphone took on the same role which was previously held by the people's movement.
U.S. imperialism which before the uprising dreamed about strengthening Bazargan's government and helped him to oppose his enemies, which then generously exported raw materials, spare parts and goods to Iran and politically strove to strengthen Iran's position and sent its carriers to protect Iran's government this time adopted a policy in complete opposition to the earlier one. From military help to military threats, from complimenting politics to political pressures, from economic aid to embargo, and from diplomatic phrases to negative propaganda.
U.S. imperialism opposed the faction occupying the embassy by trying to create a world front, and asked all of its allies to accept a boycott, break diplomatic relations, and place international political pressure on Iran.
U.S. policy with regard to class struggle in Iran suffered major policy changes. The U.S., which had wished to bring Khomeini closer to Bazargan, now strove to separate not just Bazargan but the whole liberal bourgeois class from Khomeini and the petty bourgeoisie, and to unite independently all capitalist factions.
The U.S., which portrayed the armed power of the communists to the petty bourgeoisie as frightening so that it would go toward the bourgeoisie for protection, which previously strove to make the petty bourgeoisie regard the communists and the communist movement as their primary danger so that it would get closer to the bourgeoisie, now strove to suggest that the primary danger is reaction (petty bourgeoisie) and to unite all antireaction forces (liberal bourgeoisie).
Now the imperialist media, in opposition to petty bourgeois attacks, propagandizes about the necessity of defending freedom. Its purpose is to create a front of groups against the ruling petty bourgeoisie. The media which before were the bloody enemies of the communists and persuaded the petty bourgeoisie that if they don't ally with the bourgeoisie they will be knifed in the back, now are sympathetic towards the communists and speak of freedom for all; now they are trying to be loving to the communists, who until yesterday were regarded as the major danger.
Almost all of the liberal parties in opposition to the petty bourgeoisie's anti-imperialist struggle said, "A reactionary cannot be anti-imperialist." They spoke of the danger of fascism and, with sympathy toward the inequalities for the communists, stressed the unity of all anti-fascist forces. In all of the liberal media they propagate the necessity for unified work by all of the freedom-loving forces against the monopolistic ruling petty bourgeoisie.
They say that the necessary condition to defend democracy and freedom is to set all of the freedomloving forces against the primary force of repression, and they add that this primary force is presently the ruling clergy and is represented by the committees, religious judges, revolutionary guards, etc.
The liberal bourgeoisie, by suggesting the organization of a front in opposition to "reaction," openly extends a hand of friendship to the revolutionary forces. This type of propaganda has two basic advantages for the liberal bourgeoisie. First, this kind of slogan for unity can create a better opening to counter their declining popularity. Also, this kind of slogan for unity can become negative propaganda against the revolutionary opposition. Among the people, the slogans are spread, and act as heavy blows against the unified action of the proletariat and petty bourgeoisie and the creation of the true anti-imperialist front of the people.
Now, one year after the victorious uprising, new events in the political scene have come to pass.
The widespread economic crisis, rapid growth of the revolutionary movement, and the destruction of the unity within the traditional petty bourgeoisie, has had a marked influence on the balance of political forces and the condition of the ruling authority. In addition to this, the reduction of Ayatollah Khomeini's role and presence in the political arena, and the election of the president, and the process of the expansion of his role and presence in the political domain must be recognized. In the new situation the microphone in the U.S. embassy has gone by the wayside.
These changes alongside the beginnings of the revolutionary movement in Turkey, the escalation of the war in Afghanistan, intensification of class struggle in Pakistan, and the escalation of people's confrontation with the Ba'ath regime of Iraq, and finally the beginning of elections for President of the U.S., will definitely influence U.S. imperialist policy with respect to the political authority in Iran, the item-by-item evaluation of which we will deal with at a later date. We end with this foresight: that the struggle of all of the peoples of the region, despite all of the treacherous attempts by U.S. imperialism and its internal allies, and despite Iran's traditional petty bourgeoisie's empty desires, will flourish day-by-day, on the deathbed of imperialism and the bourgeoisie, in a revolutionary and progressive direction.
There is no absolutely no force in the present situation able to contain the further flourishing of the anti-imperialist and democratic people's movement.
Yes, victory belongs to the people.
This article is translated from Kar number 47, March 1980. Kar is the official organ of the OIPFG.
The Mighty Challenge of the Anti-Imperialist Struggle
by the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran
We are going through the complicated initial stage of our people's revolution, where the most pressing programs are the severing of all colonialist comprador connections and the eradication of imperialist influence in Iran. The mighty challenge to the anti-imperialist struggle presents a real complexity in the range of confrontations it poses. On the one hand, we observe the horde of flag wavers who have hopped on the bandwagon of opportunity, profiting from the new atmosphere to give up any pretension of resistance and compromise with the enemy, in order to garner the resources of the people for themselves with the leverage of American imperialism.
On the other hand, we have the peoples of the land and their leaders, those who with bold resolution brought the mighty and satanic antipopular historical force of America to its knees as their contribution to the universal struggle of all peoples.
It is the vastness and complexity of this struggle against United States imperialism that must evoke the profound admiration and respect of every revolutionary for the people of Vietnam. With this example of revolutionary resoluteness in mind, let us analyze the challenge of imperialism as we must confront it in this phase and under the particular conditions with which we must deal.
In the popular front, we have a serious disadvantage in the organizational weakness prevailing in the forces which constitute the movement, due to the crushing blows inflicted on the revolutionary organizations in the course of the shah's suppression, which succeeded in depriving our society of a powerful and single-minded structure which could rally the people's struggle in a concentrated effort at this stage.
In contrast, however, we have the positive advantage of being able to count on the power of a mobilized people, alerted to the nature of the principal enemy, sensing it with all their being and possessing a consciousness that has equipped them with the readiness to throw off the chains of slavery once and for all, the readiness to embrace martyrdom with open arms and open hearts. This is a people who have experienced the rigors of revolution and have persevered with fortitude in the struggle to eradicate the shah's regime's binding economic entanglements. The people have learned their wrathful struggle from the culture of revolutionary Islam and Shi'ism. They fully understand the meaning of armed struggle, whether during the period of repression or in the course of the Uprising.
In this effort, Ayatollah Khomeini, through his triumphant leadership of the struggle against the dictatorship of the shah, has succeeded in winning the confidence of the masses and attracted their attention to the principal enemy, by targeting U.S. imperialism as the fundamental base to be rooted out.
For this reason we oppose the Imam's modest waiver of a tight security precaution for his personal protection. We demand that the Revolutionary Council act on this matter and hold each and every one of the members of that Council individually responsible for the safeguarding of the Imam's health and well-being.
We must realize that the only source of resistance against American imperialism is the people linked with the revolutionary forces. We warmly urge the Imam to declare the immediate politico-military mobilization of the people and the revolutionary forces.
In addition, we must launch a thorough-going study of the imperialist front. In any campaign, it is vital to maintain a watch on the movements and positions of the enemy. Even though the Truth will ultimately prevail in the long run in the course of history, nevertheless, strategic victory emanates from continued tactical victories. Therefore, the rightness of our overall standpoint should not be reason for us to neglect the careful investigation of specific situations.
Mere confidence in the validity of our cause could create a superficial pride which would eventually bring our fall. Thus, from the tactical point of view, no matter how insignificant or unthreatening an enemy might appear at a given moment, we should never make the mistake of thinking that it cannot emerge as a major threat particularly when we are dealing with the greatest antipopular force in history: U.S. imperialism.
One of the major contributing factors causing American imperial ism to abandon its policy of unremitting bombardment and massacre of the peoples of nations under its domination with the concomitant creation of the so-called human rights policy as a tactic was the unwillingness of the people of American and other imperialist countries to "buy" this approach. On the eve of the victory of the Vietnamese Revolution, the most extensive demonstrations in American history were mounted against U.S. military intervention in Vietnam, while hundreds of thousands in Europe joined in support.
Since then, crisis in the American economy has made direct intervention unfeasible in recent years, but this does not mean that this policy has been abandoned as a line of action for U.S. imperialism. The fact of the matter is that, when favorable conditions obtain in other spheres, the economic obstacle can be overcome easily enough for imperialism to act and intervene.
The confrontation approach around the matter of the occupation of the American den of spies (the former U.S. embassy in Tehran) involved a number of ill-conceived tactics, giving the government in Washington plenty of fodder for mounting an insidious propaganda campaign against Iran (amongst its own people). The ground was prepared even before the occupation with such irregular goings-on as summary trials (with un-ideological and arbitrary verdicts) and the permitting of a monopoly group to form (and wield major decisionmaking influence in) an "assembly of experts" and so forth. All of this contributed to an easily distortable picture of the content of the Iranian Revolution in the eyes of the peoples of Europe and America.
Although the conditions of our people's anti-imperialist struggle required the adoption of different standpoints due to the varying content of a given situation, there is no excuse for a failure to exercise a proper tactical approach which could throw real difficulties in the path of anti-popular governments, involving regional reactionaries, and significantly limiting their power of maneuver.
Now, relating this tactical question to the hostage situation, the correct tactical confrontation would be, not to kill or make noises about killing the hostages, giving the imperialist propaganda machine more grist for its mill in whipping up anti-Iranian hysteria, but to take serious, concerted steps to completely cancel all entangling agreements and subjugative colonialist relations.
As it is, the atmosphere is such in imperialist countries and nations under imperialist domination that military action against Iran is not even regarded as unacceptable or reprehensible. In the U.S. itself, the pressure being put on Iranian students has reached an extreme, to the point where young people studying there are afraid to go out in public. Assault and battery of Iranian students is becoming commonplace in America.
Furthermore, the French government, despite repeated assurances to Iranian officials, has in practice supported the American position "all the way."
The conference of Arab leaders in Tunisia has adopted an anti-Iranian position, as frogmen of the U.S. Navy bask in Bahrain, waiting for the green light to dive into action. The picture is the same in other parts of the Arab World.
In the light of this kind of a situation, how are our officials making a confrontation? Giving speeches in which they declare that opposition amongst segments of the popular community has restricted their range of action, they bleat that the people and the revolutionary forces should "toe the line" by tagging along with their incorrect way of confronting the United States. These, of course, are the very individuals who are bending over backwards to avoid canceling the imperialist agreements by making a great song and dance about the fact that the people and the Imam demand the extradition of the exshah, knowing the U.S. is unlikely to go through with that action under any circumstances.
This way the impression is conveyed that the only serious conflict between Iran and America is this deadlock over the shah question. These elements play on this issue, making a show in a reformist manner over breaking the deadlock with plundering imperialism by neglecting the most fundamental colonialist hold on the country. Revolutionary action could have swiftly and uncompromisingly cut all economic, political and military connections which force Iran into a position of humiliating dependency. In this way the nation would have emerged in full independence and dignity to be able to make a decisive confrontation with the issue of the hostages and nip in the bud the situation which has gotten so out of hand with the fanning of anti-Iranian hysteria.
The worst of the matter is the deceitful approach which the forementioned individuals have adopted towards the revolutionary forces, such that whenever these forces call for the cancellation of comprador contracts and, thus, the elimination of every kind of subjugating economic, political and military agreements, they wag their fingers and go tut-tutting and accuse the progressive groups of upsetting the diplomatic applecart, while obscuring the basic issue, for which we will strive with steadfastness, fortitude and revolutionary patience.
We would also like to address ourselves to the Revolutionary Council at this juncture, asking how many times we must undergo the same agonies without learning from experience. Why can we not profit from the experience of the late Dr. Mosaddeq's anti-colonialist struggle. Must we forever fly in the face of the reality of the revolutionary potential of our people, when we can gain and grow more efficient by benefiting from our experiences.
The fundamental issue is that under the present conditions both the people and the Imam are ready to eradicate, to root out all colonialist dependent connections. If you do not demonstrate the proper awareness and call for the immediate mobilization of the masses, you stand to be condemned in the court of history and by "you" we mean each and every one of you members of that august body.
In conclusion, we turn to address the heroic people of Iran, the people who have borne the honor of offering tens of thousands of martyrs in sacrifice to overthrow the regime of the shah, that watchdog wearing the collar of American imperialism. We address ourselves to the people, whose revolutionary and unrelenting movement not only brought liberation to Iran but opened the way for all hopeful peoples of the world.
These are the people who have set the pace for all the oppressed and abased peoples of the world, who looked to the example of the heroic people of Vietnam; these people who have become the focal point of the struggle in this region. Our message to them is merely a repetition of the message of the Imam, which stated, "Guard your triumph and do not sit idly by while others act in your place."
This article is translated from Mojahed number 12, November 1979. Mojahed is the official organ of the PMOI.
The People's Mojahedin of Iran Declare Their Organizational Center and Offices Temporarily Closed
by the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran
In the Name of God and In the Name of the Heroic People of Iran
The People's Mojahedin of Iran declare all the centers and offices of their organization temporarily closed until their legal and political rights according to the constitution become clear, and until responsible officials of the nation explicitly express their opinion in this matter. This action is taken with the intention of avoiding any kind of disturbance, or the probable shedding of the blood of innocent individuals, and with the purpose of preventing any misuse, or exploitation of the situation by imperialism and counter-revolution.
In this way we, in our own right, will prevent any kind of provocation, or disturbance which can cause the weakening of the foundations of the Islamic Republic in the name of the Mojahedin. We expect that the responsible officials of the nation will act reciprocally, especially in connection with the media, in taking the appropriate measures for the preservation of an atmosphere free of disturbances.
People's Mojahedin of Iran
Moslem Student Declararation
by Moslem Student Society (U.S.A.)
In the Name of God and In the Name of Heroic People of Iran
Recently, on June 26, 1980, the people's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI) issued the statement above. This statement must be understood in the light of their analysis of the current role of imperialism in Iran and the appropriate response of the left. The Moslem Student Society here attempts to answer some of the questions raised by this action in the context of the current situation.
What is the current role of imperialism in Iran?
Since the revolution certain elements both within Iran and outside the country have tried continuously to limit the gains of the Iranian people and to turn the country back to the days when imperialism was free to subjugate our people without restrictions. Today the Islamic Republican Party (IRP) in the government of Iran attacks the left and progres- sives of Iran; meanwhile imperialists in the form of U.S.-trained Army personnel, U.S. corporate elements, and SAVAK agents are free to work to undermine our revolution.
A civil war constantly threatens our country. Via the attacks and provocations of the IRP against the left, we can see to whose advantage a civil war would be today. The situation changes hourly, and no truly progressive group can fail to recognize that eventual civil war might become necessary in the future. However, today, such an adventure would only serve to allow chaos to overtake our country and leave the door wide open for a complete re-establishment of control over Iran by U.S. imperialists.
Why, if reactionaries control the government, did the Mojahedin close their offices instead of continuing their work?
Nowhere in their statement did the PMOI announce that they were laying aside their work. Instead, the 16-year-old PMOI has "gone underground" temporarily in the protest of the attacks on the innocent volunteers and paper-carriers who have been suffering the brunt of the right-wing reactionaries. The organization that worked underground for 14 years during the Shah's time cannot today sell its books or make public statements without attacks reminiscent of the brutal past.
It is not simply a symbolic or empty gesture for the PMOI to close its public offices while maintaining its level of political work in the same manner employed during the Shah's regime. PMOI continues even today, as they have since the February 1979 uprising, to work to expose injustice and the manipulation of the revolutionary spirit of our people made possible by those who misuse the trust of our people in Islam and its supposed leaders.
What does the PMOI hope to gain by this tactic? What can it accomplish?
Since last year the PMOI has opened offices throughout the country, organized a people's militia of men and women, produced a daily paper having the largest circulation of any newspaper in Iran, and continually won broader support among the masses in Iran. This is why they have been attacked and targeted as the "main enemy" by the reactionaries. By closing their doors in protest and stopping their paper temporarily they hope to end the thin belief some of the masses still hold for the right-wing. These actions will raise questions among the people that the regime will not be able to satisfy. Some of these questions are:
Why don't we have freedom of speech if this is an Islamic Republic?
Why are progressives, who fought the Shah, our "main enemy" rather than U.S. imperialism?
Why does the right-wing continually attack progressives while basic needs of the people are not met?
How can the U.S.-trained army remain virtually untouched, while the left is attacked as a "dangerous" element?
Why, after one-and-a-half years of waiting for social and economic justice in Iran, do the bosses and the bourgeois still control our economy and the people, while the so-called revolutionary council encourages the beating and killing of the PMOI and its followers?
Not only are these questions raised, but the patience of our people for lies and liars is worn thin. After so many votes still no real change has come about since the uprising in 1979.
The political consciousness of our people becomes higher every day. The supporters of the left will feel the great vacuum created by the "disappearance" of the PMOI and this will show graphically what their role has been for the people. This period of contemplation will undoubtedly call to action those who quietly supported real changes in Iran before.
Only time and patient work towards that goal can tell if this tactic will achieve its avowed purpose of waking the people to the lies and treachery of those who abused their trust.
Moslem Student Society (U.S.A.)
The Case of Mohammad Reza Saadati
by Moslem Student Society
Mohammad Reza Saadati, 39 years old, married, and a native of Shiraz, is a long-time member of the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI) and was imprisoned by the Shah's regime for over seven years for his revolutionary activities, until his release after the uprising in February 1979. He had once been a co-defendant with the young martyred revolutionary, Mehdi Rezai. Soon after his release he was arrested again in the manner described below. The present regime is again trying to place him on trial for the non-crime of "disrupting relations with the United States."
He is not allowed to see his lawyer. For over eight months his mother has been the only member of his immediate family who has been allowed to see him. His wife, sister, and brother have not been allowed to see him.
Since his arrest Saadati has been in solitary confinement, and prison guards have prevented him from having any contact whatsoever with other prisoners. His family sent him radio and television. Books, newspapers, and tapes after being censored are given to him; many times, however, they have not given him these items.
On April 27, 1979, before a scheduled meeting with two Soviet correspondents at his office, he was arrested by armed men from a committee illegally established in the American embassy headed by Hajj Mashaallah Kashani. (This man, Kashani, was afterwards linked clearly with American intelligence by published evidence.) After his arrest Saadati was interrogated by an expert interrogator in a "secure house" behind the American embassy. The accused person, Saadati, was tortured at the time of arrest and under interrogation. The government physician has confirmed the existence of the results of torture. After 48 hours Saadati was transfered from the "secure house" to an undisclosed location. Apparently, he was transfered to a solitary cell in the old SAVAK headquarters, which is presently the headquarters of the Pasdaran (Revolutionary Guards). Later he was taken to Evin prison.
Up to this point Saadati has been in solitary confinement. He had no visits with his family for over one month after his arrest and his family did not even know of his whereabouts. All the officials claimed they did not know of him at all. After investigations by his family and receiving a little information about his situation, some officials went to Evin prison to visit him. The prison guards prevented them from visiting Saadati and moved him to a different prison that night. At that time Saadati began a 45-day-long hunger strike as a protest against his illegal arrest, lack of attention to his case, and the bad conditions in prison. (He was jailed in the worst cells in Evin prison and was kept from even the basic facilities; also, visits from his mother had to take place with armed guards listening.) After he began his hunger strike, once again prison guards prevented him from visiting with his family.
Following Saadati's hunger strike and the lack of attention by responsible officials, families of the PMOI's martyred revolutionaries held a sit-in in front of the Justice Department. This sit-in was ended by a message from the Ayatollah Taleghani (the leader of the true revolutionary Moslem movement at that time) asking them to end the protest.
Forty days after Saadati's hunger strike, a kangaroo court was established to try him. The trial was being held at the time when: a) According to the reports by the government physician of Evin prison, Saadati was not able to attend the court due to weakness from the long hunger strike; b) Saadati's file was not provided to his attorney, nor even to Saadati himself, even though he needed it to prepare for his defense. In addition, a representative of the PMOI demanded on behalf of Saadati to undertake die political defense of the case. The court refused this. Pasdaran prevented all people from being present to watch the trial. So, for these reasons, Saadati did not attend the court. Later the religious judge and the new prosecutor announced that the case was incomplete at the time. During this time, we must point out, that the masses of people in Iran demonstrated in support of Saadati, his hunger strike, and the parents' sit-in, and demanded his release.
On the 45th day of Saadati's hunger strike, when he was on the verge of death, a representative of Ayatollah Taleghani went to Evin prison and told Saadati that Ayatollah Taleghani thought it best if Saadati ended his strike then. He complied. Following that, visits became possible, and he was permitted to use some facilities (such as being moved to a better cell, and having delivered to him the television, radio, books, and newspapers brought by his family). However, after only a short while, his visits were cut off and up until now he has never had a reasonable and normal visit. It has now been eight months since Saadati has been permitted visits from members of his family other than his mother. Meanwhile, the government has repeated many times that they would attend to his case, but every time they have not come through.
For months the prison guards have put him under psychological pressure, such as cutting off his visits again, not giving him newspapers, etc., and strict control to prevent him from making contacts with other prisoners or prison guards.
Moslem Student Society