A look at the “Political Statement of the Third Plenum of the Central Committee of the Tudeh Party of Iran …” — Part I

A look at the “Political Statement of the Third Plenum of the Central Committee of the Tudeh Party of Iran …” 

Retreating from Previous Positions
or Outrunning the Truth?

Part I

(July 27th, 2023)

Recently, a document entitled “Political Statement of the Third Plenum of the Central Committee of the Tudeh Party of Iran…” was published in Nameh Mardom, No. 1184 (June 20, 2023), which implies the appearance of some new positions in the evaluations of the current leadership of the Party. A cursory reading creates the impression for the reader that this document represents an adjustment to the Party leadership’s past positions — particularly regarding the issues of “Woman, Life, Freedom” protests and the war between NATO and Russia in Ukraine. But a deeper examination of the positions advanced in this document shows that this re-emergence of the policy of talking out of both sides of the mouth — an approach that had been the official Party policy until the Party leadership and Nameh Mardom editors moved to the right in response to Russia’s special operations Ukraine — does not represent an honest retraction and correction of their incorrect past positions in response to the pressures from both inside and outside the Party, but signifies an attempt to cover up their past policies by attributing them to other political forces with the intent of freeing themselves from the burden of responsibility.

In this document, we will try to dissect for the readers and followers of “10 Mehr Group” the various aspects of this dishonest attempt, which only serves to spread confusion in the struggles of the toiling masses of our country, and especially within the Iranian left movement.

1. About the “Woman, Life, Freedom” Protests


The crux of the positions of the current leaders of the Party on this matter can be found in the very beginning paragraphs of their “Political Statement”:

More than eight months have passed since the tragedy of Mahsa Amini’s death at the hands of the criminal mercenaries of the Islamic Republic of Iran on September 16, 2022, and the beginning of the “Woman, Life, Freedom” movement. Although the daily street protests of the desperate masses have subsided in various cities, the idea that the anti-dictatorship movement of our country is defeated is as false and unscientific as the thinking among some people that the “Woman, Life, Freedom” movement was the beginning of another revolution in Iran….

The question that is being posed today by several civil society activists and freedom fighters in our country — and it is necessary to give a realistic answer to it by examining the events of the last eight months — is why the protests by so many courageous women and youths in the streets of so many cities could not bring the regime of the Velayat-e Faqih to its knees [!?] [Guardianship of the Jurist]?

Examining the various evaluations of several political forces of the country from the events of the last eight months shows the fact that many of these evaluations about the nature and strength of the “Woman, Life, Freedom” protest movement were precipitous and without a thorough examination of the country’s very complicated situation, and therefore, their expectations from and hopes for the “Woman, Life of Freedom” protest movement were largely unrealistic. (All emphases added)

So far, it seems that the objective facts have finally opened the eyes of these comrades and have awakened them from the fantasy that these riots would succeed in “bringing the Velayat-e Faqih regime to its knees” — especially with the help of the imperialist media — and that they are now looking for a “correct and scientific” analysis of the essence of the “Woman, Life, phenomenon. But alas, we are witnessing something entirely different.

It is here that the same authors of the “Political Statement” suddenly separate their own declared positions regarding the “Woman, Life, Freedom” riots from the positions of “some other Iranian political forces,” and self-righteously criticize them for their “incorrect and unscientific” analyses and their “unrealistic expectations form, and hopes for, the “Woman, Life, Freedom” protests. And to prove the validity of their argument, they pick on the statements of these forces one after the other:

— “In spite of the fact that the conditions of workers, both waged and salaried, is worse than last year, we nonetheless witnessed the revolutionary and democratic movement of “Woman, Life, freedom,” which completely changed the situation of our society and gave hope for liberation from the shackles of the authoritarian regime, which relies on all kinds of discrimination and incites the anti-justice of the Islamic Republic in our impoverished society that is longing for freedom and justice” [quoted from: communique of the “Left Party of Iran (Fedaiyan Khalq),” April 21, 2023].

— “In Iran, the revolution continues … the revolution of “Woman, Life, freedom,” with a very worthy and political meaningful slogan, carrying with it all the revolutionary demands of a political revolution and aspiring to gain the rights of women, men, children and a free life with democracy and national sovereignty” [quoted from: “Iranian Nationalists” website, written by Manouchehr Taghavi Bayat, April 18, 2023].

— “Following the murder of Zhina-Mahsa-Amini, by the Gestapo-like Ershad patrol [morality police] in Tehran on September 16th [2022] for the crime of “bad hijab,” the oppressed people, led by the beautiful slogan, “Woman, Life, Freedom,” ushered in the third revolutionary uprising in the last five years and the third revolution in the contemporary history of Iran” [quoted from: the political resolution document of the 27th Congress of the Rah-e Kargar organization about the dimensions of the Zhina uprising and the permanent revolution in Iran].

— “More than forty days have passed since the revolutionary movement of the Iranian people, one of the most prominent examples of a non-violent movement in the world. The new uprising that started with the brutal murder of Mahsa-Zhina Amini was the last straw after decades of injustice by the Islamic regime towards women’s rights and freedom” [Quoted from the joint statement of six republican movements titled: “Iranian revolutionary movement: prominent example of non-violent movement in the world”].

— “Wednesday, the 26th of October 2022, is the fortieth day after the death of Mahsa (Zhina) Amini, the code-name of Iran’s new revolution. During the forty days that have passed since the heinous killing of Zhina Amini by the Ershad patrol [morality police], the glorious revolutionary movement of the Iranian people is moving forward with firm steps….” [quoted from: Executive Board of the Organization of Revolutionary Workers of Iran (Rah-e Kargar) and the Communist Party of Iran — October 26, 2022].

And in doing so, these comrades act as if they have been issuing warnings to those misguided and “unrealistic” forces from the very beginning, but none of these forces has paid any attention to them:

Our party was of this opinion from the very beginning of the “Woman, Life, Freedom” protest movement and continues to believe that a situation has been brought about in the country where the objective conditions for the culmination of the revolutionary movement are evolving…. Therefore, anticipating an end to the Velayat-e Faqih regime and comparing the street protests of the “Woman, Life, Freedom” uprising with the 1979 Revolution and the revolutionary movement that took place in Iran between 1976 and 1979 which finally led to the overthrow of the Shah’s regime, is a false analogy. (Emphases added)

Now, let us see what these comrades themselves have said during those days, what has been their “correct” and “scientific” analysis of the “Woman, Life, Freedom” riots and what have been their expectations of its “revolutionary” role in “bringing the Velayat-e Faqih regime to its knees”:

Nameh Mardom, No. 1165, September 26, 2022

(Excerpts from the article: “With the self-sacrificing entry of the people into the scene of the national struggle, we can target the structures of the state of Velayat-e Faqih”:

The recent developments show that a large part of the society has come to the correct conclusion through their experience that they should either forget their demands for fundamental and popular changes and endure the suffering of living under a religious dictatorship, or they should eliminate the rule of “Velayat-e-Faqih” to fulfill the wishes of the people….

Not any political force or a single serious political expert and analyst can claim that this current autocratic government based on “political Islam” [!?] can be reformed…. (Emphasis added)

Nameh Mardom — Special Edition on People’s Movement after Mahsa Amini’s Murder, September 25 to October 2022

(Excerpts from: Statement of the Central Committee of the Tudeh Party of Iran):

We should not allow this ignorant and criminal regime to impose an atmosphere of repression, nor should we allow them to block communication channels to make the protest movement of the masses ineffective once again. The State of the Islamic Republic is irreparable, and its perpetuation is a terrible disaster for the movement of our country towards freedom, peace, security, and social justice. The continuation of this State is the main reason for the insecurity of our country…. The main goal of the people, as they have clearly stated in their slogans, is the transition from the current dictatorship to a free, independent Iran, free from the shackles of the “Velayat-e Faqih” regime…. (Emphasis added)

 Nameh Mardom, No. 1168, November 7, 2022

(Excerpts from the article “The impasse of the clerical regime and the necessity of political collaboration to promote the anti-dictatorship campaign”):

Reality shows that, along with the people’s continuing sacrifices and far-reaching struggle, if the current protest movement were stronger and better organized, it would not only be possible to keep confronting the repressive apparatus, but it would also be possible to push back the dictatorship and oust it from power.

During the protests against the crimes of the “Velayat-e Faqih” regime, spontaneous demonstrations took place on a very wide scale … emphasizing the demand for freedom and emancipation from the chains of the medieval regime….

The most recent example of the people’s courageous struggle is the [protest song] of Toomaj Salehi (rap singer), which reflects the heroic protest our people against the murder of Mahsa Amini by the “Ershad patrol,” as well as in the slogan of the freedom-fighter students: “I swear by the blood of my friend, we will stand until the end.”

The time has come for elevating the level of the popular movement and organizing a struggle that targets all the main pillars of the rule of “Political Islam”….

Recent global experiences, especially in the Arab Spring uprisings, show that without organizing and coordinating the political activities, and constant cooperation among all the political parties, it is not possible to raise the struggle to a revolutionary level and to defend the revolution….

With the entrance of self-sacrificing people onto the scene of the nationwide struggle … it is now necessary to consolidate and continue this movement, which is justifiably aiming to shatter the structures of the rule of “Velayat-e Faqih” and its reactionary religious anti-values…. (Emphasis added)

And finally, the masterpiece:

Special edition of Nameh Mardom, No. 1169, November 21, 2022

(Excerpts from: Statement of the Tudeh party of Iran, titled “The spread of the popular uprising against the ruling dictatorship, the regime’s despicable ‘vali-e faqih’ [supreme leader], and once again, the bloody November!”):

For Khamenei and other regime leaders, the cries of “Death to the Leader” and “Death to Khamenei” that have echoed all over Iran in recent weeks should undoubtedly be a reminder of the cries of “Death to the Shah” that echoed throughout Iran in 1977 and 1978, which finally led to the overthrow of the shah’s police state and his anti-people regime. [Why are you repudiating others for using this “analogy” then?]

The regime is fully aware that it is facing a huge mass of women and young people who, according to the historical motto of Marx and Engels, have nothing to lose but their chains…! (Emphasis added) [And by this type of sloganeering, the “Woman, Life, Freedom” riots are even elevated to the level of a “proletarian revolution”!]

And tons of other similarly baseless positions that have filled the pages of different Nameh Mardom issues.

We ask these comrades: which of these positions that you had declared in the past were different from the positions of “several political forces” that have now become the target of your criticism? The fact is that these positions of yours, in their totality, have been even more extreme than the positions of the other political forces that you now criticize; and, in fact, if they were dreaming of “slices” of the “pie in the sky” during those days, you were dreaming of the “whole pie.”

At first, you comrades turned these street riots — which started with a legitimate protest against the mandatory hijab for the women and girls of our country, but the enemies of our country tried to utilize it to serve their goal of forcing a regime change — as a “nationwide movement” of our people. Then, you elevated it to the level of the vanguard movement of the Iranian people for a persistent “revolution” that has already started to “bring down the “Velayat-e Faqih” regime, and which is going to inscribe “the Shah’s fate” “for Khamenei” as well. You have even taken a step further by equating this purported “revolutionary movement” with the genuine struggles of the workers, teachers, and retirees of our country — who do not receive help from foreign powers; do not attack the police stations; do not kill the security forces; and most importantly and unlike you, do not call for “bringing the ‘Velayat-e Faqih’ regime to its knees.”

Is this the “scientific” vision you have in mind for an anti-dictatorship struggle?

Now that the awakening smack of history has determined the final fate of this so-called “movement,” doesn’t your “Political Statement” represent yet another attempt at outrunning the truth through blaming others and denying your own responsibility, rather than engaging in an honest self-criticism and correcting your dead-wrong policies?


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