Thursday, February 29, 2024

Tudeh Party of Iran: Statement on the forthcoming "elections" of the Islamic Parliament and the Assembly of the Experts

In a statement concerning the the forthcoming "elections" of the Islamic Parliament and the Assembly of the Experts, the CC of the Tudeh Party of Iran stresses out:

"Dear conscious compatriots, workers, and toilers!

Progressive and freedom-loving forces of Iran!

The twelfth "election" of the Islamic Parliament and the sixth "election" of the Assembly of Experts will take place on 1 March.  According to a report by the Ministry of Interior of the Islamic Republic of Iran, more than 11,000 individuals (52% of registered applicants) were approved by the vetting process [to stand as candidates] and the results [of the vetting] were sent to them via text message by the "National Elections Headquarters" on 5 January.  

Roughly 38% of all applicants' eligibility was not approved while less than 10% of applicants failed the mandatory eligibility tests.  It is worth noting that 26 members of the current parliament who had not been able to show full obedience to the "supreme leader" during their time as MPs, were also disqualified. The vetting results of candidates for the Assembly of Experts show that in most cities only a single candidate has been approved to stand in the ballot. 

The extent of disqualification [of candidates] by the reactionary Guardian Council was such that it even provoked one of the loyal servants of the regime, namely Hassan Rouhani, to openly protest - this from a figure who was recently the president and was the representative of the supreme leader in the "National Security Council" for many years.  In a letter to the Guardian Council, he wrote, among other things: "Those who disqualified me with political motives and also disqualified thousands of candidates of the Islamic Parliament elections for mainly political reasons and deprived people of their right to participate in the elections, are neither the owners of the revolution nor the country.  Neither do they have the competence to determine where the interests of the country lie and to disqualify the loyal and compassionate servants of the country."  Of course, Mr. Rouhani has [conveniently] forgotten that those responsible for vetting the candidates have been installed by the supreme leader and that when it was deemed necessary to remove Mr. Rouhani's rivals from election campaigns in the past, they executed their orders so that Mr. Rouhani could take his president accordingly.

Dear conscious compatriots! Progressive and freedom-loving forces of Iran!

"Elections" in the framework of the theocratic regime and the scandalous shows of the reactionary Guardian Council to appoint their chosen ones have long been rejected by the majority of our people.  The widespread and successful boycotting of the 2021 presidential "elections" and the people's resolute "NO!" to the appointment of the criminal Ebrahim Raisi as president is a clear demonstration of the Iranian people's consciousness and their contempt for the oppression and corruption presided over by the regime's administrative, judicial, executive, and legislative institutions - as well as a potent symbolisation of just how discredited the regime's policies and ethics have become.

The election for the 12th term of the Islamic Parliament will be held amid circumstances where our country is faced with ever-worsening economic and social crises.  Poverty now grips tens of millions of Iranians, while unemployment and endemic institutional corruption has created a difficult and exhausting situation for the lives of most people from different social strata.  Any protest against this situation and the regime's unpopular policies - including protests to uphold the rights of workers, pensioners, teachers, students, and women - is met with immediate and violent suppression on the part of the regime, and even the execution of participants in such protests.  In addition to these difficulties, the foolish and adventurist policies of the regime in the region have meant that the security situation of our homeland - thus the security of our people from an international point of view - faces an increasing risk of interventions from the imperialist powers and other reactionary countries in the region.

45 years after the victory of the February 1979 Revolution, not only have our people been denied freedom and social justice, but have had a dictatorial regime based on the moribund and deeply unpopular ideas of "Political Islam" - the policies of which neatly align with the country's big capitalist interests - imposed upon them.  As a result, the huge gap between rich and poor has now reached unprecedented dimensions in our country.

The objective and subjective background to the popular protests of 2017-18 and 2019-20; the strikes of workers, pensioners, teachers; the protests of the oppressed masses; the vital campaign of environmental activists; and then the "Woman, Life, Freedom" movement in 2022 that seriously challenged the supreme leader's regime, is the fire under the tinder of discontent of the masses in Iran - the flames of which will inevitably flare up again sooner or later.  We can see the sparks flying throughout the workers' protests in recent weeks as well as the courageous and steadfast protests of women, pensioners, teachers, nurses, young people, bankrupt small-scale investors, and the families of murdered or imprisoned political activists especially imprisoned women.

As the date of the elections for the Islamic Parliament and the Assembly of Experts approaches, our people, based on their experiences over recent years, bear witness to the shameful efforts of a number of dare witnessing the emergence must bear witness to the shameful attempts by a number of disgraceful defenders of the Islamic Republic regime to pontificate, theorise, and thereby barrack people into participating in this bankrupt charade.  These elements - whether masquerading under the pretence of being "left", "reformers", or "independent political activists" - undertake a single task, which is to mislead the people by propagating the falsehood that there still remain "progressive forces" within the Islamic Republic of Iran apparatus who need the help of the people to change the current situation for the benefit of the masses and that the policies of the Islamic Republic can be changed this way.  Such ridiculous theories suggest that there are elements in the regime that are pro-East, grouped around the supreme leader, which are engaged in a decisive battle with the forces defending imperialism.  Thus, according to this theory, the current struggle within the government is an "anti-imperialist" struggle and "in line with Iran's national interests".  Not only is the Islamic Republic regime not anti-imperialist, it is also a capitalist system and a profoundly unpopular one at that.  The Tudeh Party of Iran believes that, at present, the struggle of the popular movement activists against the interventions and sanctions of imperialism is intertwined with their fight against the reactionary theocratic dictatorship.

For many years now, the nature of the Islamic Republic regime has been firmly established as a capitalist system with economic policies based on neoliberalism which prioritise the interests of the country's big commercial and bureaucratic capital.  All the macroeconomic policies of the regime, which are regulated by the office of the supreme leader and dictated to the government administrations installed under him, have reflected the approved and prescribed policies of the global capitalist institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.  On the anti-imperialist nature of this regime, it is suffice to state that dozens of specific documents have been leaked and published showing the regime's practical collaboration with the imperialist's designs and projects, during both the reigns of Khomeini and Khamenei.  From the scandal of "Iran-Contra affair" and the regime's secret line with Colonel Oliver North, aiding the US in its violent campaign against the Sandinista revolutionaries in Nicaragua; to the material cooperation provided by the regime with the attacks by US imperialism on Afghanistan and Iraq followed by the occupation of these countries, there is ample evidence that lay bare the falsehoods put about by the regime and its defenders regarding the foreign policy bent of the Islamic Republic regime.

Dear conscious compatriots! Progressive and freedom-loving forces of Iran!

The Tudeh Party of Iran is of the belief that the coordinated and widespread organising by all the progressive and freedom-loving forces of the country to boycott the supreme leader's sham elections , despite the threats of the regime's spokespersons and their propaganda tricks, is an encouraging, worthy, and decisive response in line with the popular protests and public dissatisfaction of the people towards the bankrupt policies of the Islamic Republic of Iran.  The Tudeh Party of Iran believes that the widespread boycott of the upcoming elections amounts to yet another resounding "NO!" from our people to tyranny and theocratic dictatorship as well as a rebuff to the incompetent leaders who have forced our country into such a critical and difficult situation.  Along with the unified boycott of these elections, by way of organising protests and launching a nationwide campaign, effective and coordinated measures should be organised against the dictatorship's institutions.  We call upon all patriotic and freedom-loving forces of the country to converge in a joint struggle in order to realise this important work and defeat the theocratic regime's show elections and we declare our readiness to actively participate in such an endeavour".