Revolution #203, June 13, 2010

Revolutionary Eye on Iran

If you want revolution—in fact, if you are at all concerned about the course of events on the planet right now—you need to keep your eye on Iran. Iran is a hotspot—a point where both moves to war and possibilities for revolution could come to a boil. There are three major levels to what is going on there that we need to understand:

1. What Is Going On Inside Iran

Iran is ruled by an Islamic theocratic regime. That means the law is based on the Islamic religion and that Islamic clergy have a special role in controlling the state (the army, courts, bureaucracy, etc.). This regime is very repressive: it suppresses political dissent by force and often murder, it forces women to veil themselves in public, etc. For the past year, two factions in the camp of the Iranian rulers have been clashing over how to hold this regime together—and in the process, they have opened cracks through which massive protest has erupted. June 12 will be the one-year anniversary of a stolen election which originally set off this protest movement.  Revolutionaries are increasingly working within all this, calling on people to break with siding with one or another faction of the ruling class and to direct the struggle toward the revolutionary overthrow of the Islamic Republic altogether. We should be alert for new rounds of opposition to the regime, ready to politically support the rekindled resistance of the Iranian people.

2. The International Setting

At the same time, the United States and Israel increasingly have been threatening war against Iran and stepping up actual aggressive military operations against and within Iran itself. Iran is “in the way” of the present U.S. plans to deepen its imperial domination of the Middle East and Central Asia. The Iranian rulers, for their part, are not trying to get rid of imperialism, but to get a “better deal” from it—including trying to play off other imperialists against the U.S. as part of this. But even this is intolerable to the U.S. and they have been aggressively moving against Iran for some years now.

These threats and aggressive actions now revolve around the U.S.-Israel accusation that Iran is developing the capability to build a nuclear weapon. This alleged attempt on Iran’s part is supposed to be reason enough to rain destruction down on the Iranian people—even though the U.S. itself possesses several thousand nuclear weapons and Israel has several hundred! Some of these developments, and the imperialist interests behind them, are explained in the article on our website, “The U.S., Israel and the bomb: reason to worry” ( Such a war would be totally unjust, and the very threat of such a war—let alone actually launching it!—demands much more widespread political exposure and resistance from those of us inside the U.S.; much greater efforts to build solidarity with the people of Iran and the genuine revolutionaries there; and more thinking on our part as to possible ways this can all reverberate in this country as part of hastening the development of a revolutionary situation here.

3. The Revolutionary Movement

The Communist Party of Iran, Marxist-Leninist-Maoist, is a revolutionary communist force fighting for emancipation. These comrades have been fighting to bring forward another way within Iran, even as they have played an important role in the international communist movement. They are very firm in not only opposing the Islamic theocratic state as a whole, but all attempts by the U.S. or other imperialists to maneuver in this as well. We should be studying their statements—which are available on—and politically supporting them.

Nobody can say where all this will end. What we can say is that there is both great danger and very great potential here—and a great need to build a movement FOR REVOLUTION that is internationalist in its outlook and actions.

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