National and Global Implications of Recent Events in Iran
10Mehr Editorial Board —
November 10, 2022 (Translated from Farsi) —
Today, our country Iran faces one of the dire of crises of its post-revolution era. This crisis is the inevitable result of two sets of factors: 1. the growing poverty and huge class gap caused by more than three decades of neoliberal and repressive economic policies and, 2. the decades of political provocation, military intervention, and deadly economic sanctions by imperialist states. This decades-long course has turned Iran’s society into such a powder keg that only a small spark is enough to create an explosive situation.
The latest spark, which is still burning the society, was the untimely and unfortunate death of Mahsa Amini in the custody of the Moral police. Regardless of whether her death resulted from natural or unnatural causes, it nonetheless is the direct responsibility of the Moral Police, other law enforcement institutions, the whole judiciary system, and all the policymakers of the Islamic Republic. The claim that her untimely death happened because of her pre-existing health conditions does not absolve any of these institutions and their policy makers from responsibility for her death. But here the issue is not simply about the excessiveness or fault of this or that person or institution. The main cause of such problems is the incorrect policies that create the basis for such events, which have appeared repeatedly and in various forms at different levels of Iranian society. The policy of imposing the mandatory hijab on the women of our country is one of these problematic, misogynous and anti-social policies that is at root and the main cause of this recent tragedy.
But at this particular juncture, what has given this regrettable event a global dimension is the present status of our country and the role of the State of the Islamic Republic in the global developments of the past decade. We well know that it is not the first time our people have protested against poverty, unemployment, oppression and corruption. But this is the first time in recent years that the imperialist powers, especially the U.S., have mobilized all their economic, military, and especially their media and propaganda capacities, to take advantage of the people’s righteous protests to implement their usual policy of creating chaos, confusion, and an atmosphere of terror, in order to disillusion and confuse people and pave the way for the implement their ultimate goal of partitioning our country. It is enough to take a look at the news and propaganda websites of the Voice of America, the BBC, the AFP, Deutsche Welle, and other imperialist media around the world to see the dimensions of this internationally coordinated propaganda campaign to further fuel the aroused anger of people and push the events towards an effort to overthrow the entire Islamic Republic.
What Has Changed?
To understand the serious danger that threatens the independence and territorial integrity of our country today, it is worth reviewing the events and developments that have taken place in recent years at both external and internal levels. But before analyzing the internal developments within the country, it is necessary to first look at the recent global developments that directly affect internal affairs in Iran.
1. Changes at the International Level
Today, it is no secret that we are moving from a unipolar world under the hegemony of imperialism toward a multipolar world based on international laws and regulations. The emergence of China as an alternative economic power to the United States has challenged the economic interests of U.S. and European imperialists, as more and more countries are tending to do business with China instead of the United States or other Western governments. On the other hand, during the two decades after the collapse of the socialist system in the Soviet Union, Russia has gradually revived its independent power and has entered world politics as an influential factor in international relations, changing the global power equation to the detriment of imperialist states, especially the U.S. The expansion of Europe’s economic ties with Russia and its increasing reliance on Russian energy sources was a key element in the shift in power relations. But with the entry of the Russian army into Ukraine and the refusal of most of the international community to take side with the United States and the West against Russia, this process was transformed from a gradual quantitative change to a global qualitative change — a change that is increasingly shaping the world events.
Based on this qualitative change in the global equations, many countries are signing on to a significant number of financial, economic, political, and military policies and alliances with China and Russia, on the one hand, and amongst themselves, on the other, in open opposition to imperialist domination. As a result, we are now witnessing the increasing political, economic and financial isolation of the imperialist camp. Let’s have a look at the list of the most important alliances in recent years. These alliances show the enormous dimensions of the changes that have occurred in the world:
Growing strategic ties between China and Russia themselves: cooperation in energy and military sectors; cooperation in finance and banking with the aim of establishing independence from the dollar as the currency of commercial exchanges, and creation of a new system to conduct financial transactions around the world, free from Western domination.
Increasing regional and trans-regional cooperation, with the most important of them being:
- Expansion of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization: This organization currently covers 40% of the world’s population. Its member countries, with an economic volume of about 21 trillion dollars, account for 25% of the world’s gross domestic product. This year (2022), the total trade of the Shanghai Organization’s member countries reached 6.6 trillion dollars. This is one of the few trade organizations in which western countries do not have a say in the composition of members, management, or decision makings processes. In 2005, this organization rejected the U.S. proposal to join.
- The BRICS group (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and its expansion prospects: This group has a high potential to influence the world economy due to the fact that it includes half of the world’s population and 25 to 28 percent of the global economy’s capacity. BRICS is considered a transcontinental alliance that has come up with a new model for global economy and politics, and its dual importance lies in this point. This powerful global coalition was formed without the participation of Europe and the U.S. and has the capacity to become a decisive voice in important international economic and political issues. BRICS countries account for 24% of global GDP and 16% of global trade, and the expansion plan of this group in the form of “BRICS Plus” will also include 10 other countries.
- Strengthening of the union of oil exporting countries in the form of “OPEC” and “OPEC plus” cartels: in recent years, the cooperation of OPEC with Russia and the formation of OPEC plus, as well as signing of new economic cooperation agreements between China and the major oil exporting countries in the Middle East, have enabled OPEC members to resist the policies imposed by the United States. A clear example of this situation was seen in the recent decision of OPEC plus to reduce its oil production to the discontent of imperialist states.
- China’s One Belt – One Road Initiative: This initiative has created countless business partners for China around the world and has created the possibility of a healthier growth path for many countries, especially in the “third world.”
In response to this growing global trend, the imperialist powers, especially the United States, have focused all their efforts on disrupting this trend — either by applying deadly economic pressures or by using threats and military interventions — against the countries involved in this process. Clear examples of these efforts are the military intervention of the U.S. and NATO in Syria; the expansion of NATO towards the eas; the overthrow of Imran Khan’s government in Pakistan; the plot to topple the Sri Lankan government; the 2014 U.S.-funded and backed fascist coup in Ukraine; the imposition by the U.S. and its allies of severe economic sanctions against China, Russia and countries close to them; the creation of tension with China regarding Taiwan; and now the direct involvement of NATO in the Ukraine war — a war whose main goal is to subjugate the European Union and to cut off its economic ties with Russia, especially to deprive Germany, as the economic engine of Europe, of Russia’s cheap energy resources, and ultimately, completely weaken the European Union and make it increasingly dependent on the United States.
One of the methods adopted for this purpose is to destabilize the governments that are developing closer relationships with China and Russia, and are resisting imperialism. In this regard, in the last few years, the destabilization and, if possible, overthrow of the state of Islamic Republic and partitioning Iran, have gained special importance for the United States. Such a situation emanates more than anything else from two factors: 1. The importance of Iran’s geopolitical and geostrategic position in the formation of a multipolar world, and, 2. Iran’s emergence as a decisive military power in the region, its political independence, and its foreign policy against the hegemonic policies of the United States.
2. Iran’s Status and Its Role in the Current Global Developments
Let us take a look at the partial list of signed agreements and regional and international treaties that Iran has joined or is in the process of joining to have a clearer view of dimensions of Iran’s real, and potential, strategic role in the current global development process:
- Iran’s membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
- Iran’s request to join the BRICS group.
- The signing of the 25-year cooperation agreement between Iran and China, which according to Petroleum Economist, is economically equivalent to 280 to 400 billion U.S. dollars. This agreement is a part of China’s One Belt – One Road initiative.
- The signing of a 40-billion-dollar agreement between Iran’s National Oil Company and Russia’s Gazprom.
- The transit plan of the North-South corridor, which passes through Russia-Iran-India and, if implemented, will generate 20 billion dollars in annual income for Iran, which is more than Iran’s current oil revenue.
- The imminent signing of the free trade agreement between Iran and the Eurasian Economic Union, and other expected agreements for extensive economic cooperation with Central Asian countries.
- Strengthening mutual relations, cooperation and coordination between Iran and the Bolivarian Union of Latin America (ALBA), which includes 10 Latin American countries, and acceptance of Iran as an observing member in ALBA; signing of a 20-year agreement with Venezuela to expand relations between the two countries; signing of economic agreements between Iran and Nicaragua as well as between Iran and Bolivia.
- Iran’s project to create business centers in seven African countries.
The following diagram illustrates Iran’s strategic geographical position and potential for linking different parts of the global network that provides resistance against the unilateral domination of imperialism:
This diagram shows how Iran can become a defining factor in the formation of the global front of resistance against the unipolar world under the domination of imperialism, and how the fate of Iran today is now tied to those of China and Russia.
The U.S. imperialism’s hostility towards Iran is therefore a deliberate attempt to block the ongoing anti-imperialist networking efforts, and is an inseparable part of U.S. imperialism’s conflict with China and Russia. This explains the U.S. imperialism’s renewed hostility to Iran, and its recent attempt to incite violence and terror, create insecurity and turmoil, and ultimately overthrow the government and divide our country. The U.S. and other imperialist states are trying to break the “weak link” in the global trend towards multilateralism. For U.S. imperialism, overthrowing Iran’s government and partitioning its territory are a vehicle to halt the global trend towards multilateralism.
The U.S. government knows that due to the military power of the Islamic Republic, it can no longer destroy and partition Iran from the outside, like it did in Iraq and Libya. As the Brookings Institute, one of the think tanks that determines American foreign policy, explained:
Because the Iranian regime is widely disliked by many Iranians, the most obvious and palatable method of bringing about its demise would be to help foster a popular revolution along the lines of the “velvet revolutions” that toppled many communist governments in Eastern Europe beginning in 1989. For many proponents of regime change, it seems self-evident that the United States should encourage the Iranian people to take power in their own name, and that this would be the most legitimate method of regime change…. 
It is therefore no surprise that in recent weeks we have been witnessing the concerted and provocative efforts of the imperialist states and their media to foment an atmosphere that exploits the rightful protests of the Iranian people and seeks to instigate a velvet revolution. This propaganda campaign has now become the pivotal point of U.S. imperialism’s policy regarding Iran.
3. Internal Developments in Iran
The recent weeks’ protests in Iran showed the depth of people’s dissatisfaction and the degree of the Islamic Republic’s fragility. Decades of refusal to heed the rightful protests for social justice and democratic freedoms has placed our country at a historical crossroads. Either the Islamic Republic will accede to the peoples’ demands for justice, or the country will succumb to social disorganization. In the latter case, lacking an organized national and democratic alternative, Iranian society will become more and more fragile, and its sovereignty, its people and its government will be in danger.
It has been public knowledge for many years that U.S. imperialism’s hostility towards Iran began after the victory of the 1957 Revolution. This revolution changed the balance of forces in the region to the detriment of the U.S. and its regional allies, especially Israel and Saudi Arabia, and introduced Iran into the Middle East political and military arena as an independent force. In the early years after the revolution, the United States did not cease conspiring and scheming to defeat the revolution to return Iran to the lap of the West — from the Nojeh coup attempt to inciting Saddam Hussein to impose an extremely destructive eight-year war with Iran.
With the beginning of Rafsanjani’s presidency, the national economy was subjected to the neoliberal policies of structural adjustment prescribed by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Thus, a serious turn to the right was initiated, and Iran’s economy was reintegrated into the international capital market. This change opened a new window for the United States and the West to influence Iranian affairs from within in order to reverse the course of revolution in Iran. The rampant privatizations of key industries, banks, foreign trade, and other economic institutions, in the form of handing them over to “insiders” or elements related to the government — all of which were done in clear violation of Article 44 of the Iranian Constitution — led to the rapid growth of layers of corrupt and parasitic bourgeoisie, who took control of the entire economy of the country.
These layers of the big bourgeoisie, seeking to promote their interests by rejoining Western capitalism, have been able, with the support of the U.S. and Europe, to impose neoliberal economic policies demanded for decades by international capital. Not only did the Iranian bourgeoisie gradually sacrifice Iran’s economic independence for their own interests, they created a huge class division in Iranian society, which over the course of several decades has forced millions of workers and other toiling masses into poverty and starvation, and has turned the Iranian society into a powder keg ready to explode.
With the increasing power of these large layers of parasitic and corrupt bourgeois elements in the government, U.S. policy toward Iran was changed from one of direct hostility to that of stick and the carrot — the stick used against Iran’s regional policies that went counter to U.S. interests, the carrot for the U.S.-friendly policies applied by the Western-oriented big bourgeois elements in the government. A look at the policies of various U.S. administration — from the George W. Bush to the Biden administrations — over the past few decades, reveals the conscious fluctuation of this carrot and stick approach to Iran by the U.S. Until recent global developments, the U.S. sought to put an end to the Islamic Republic as an independent state — either by forcing the Islamic Republic’s ruling circles to surrender completely to domestic pro-West forces, or by fomenting a social uprising and partition of Iran through deadly economic sanctions, or military intervention if necessary.
But the emergence of China as a competing economic power for the United States, and more decisively, the entry of the Russian army into Ukraine and the direct military engagement of NATO against Russia, upset all existing equations both for the United States and Iran. This new situation has forced both the U.S. and Iran to face the inevitable choice of “either one or the other,” making it impossible for them to continue their equivocal policies toward each other. This new situation showed not only to the US and Iran, but also to many other countries that it is no longer possible to sit between two chairs and that they must choose sides in this global conflict.
The Iranian government, which, due to the existence of dual tendencies within its leadership, until recently adhered to the so-called policy of “neither East, nor West,” was forced to adopt a pro-East policy after the U.S. sabotage of the nuclear deal and the continuation of sanction, on the one hand, and its recognition of the nature and trajectory of global resistance to imperialist domination and the fact that the U.S. would have no tolerance for the continued existence of an independent Islamic State in Iran, on the other. This pro-East policy convinced the U.S. government, cognizant of the people’s deep-rooted discontent with the government of the Islamic Republic, to revert back to its original big-stick policy toward Iran — the results of which we have been witnessing during the past few weeks.
The Current Situation in Iran and the Question of National Security
During the last Iranian presidential election, the pro-East forces within the leadership of the Islamic Republic succeeded in taking power and began to adopt the pro-East policies described in the above section on “Iran’s position and role in this global trend.” These Eastward leaning forces were also able to sideline a significant portion of the neoliberal bourgeoisie in the Parliament, who openly support relations with the West and openly oppose any rapprochement with the East. This neoliberal wing specially opposes expanding relations with Russia and China.
At the same time, the continuing implementation of neoliberal policies by the Raisi administration clearly demonstrates the balance of class forces within the State and the continued dominance of the layers of the big bourgeoisie over it. The continuing control of the Parliament and the government’s key decision-making positions by “fundamentalist” neoliberals — senior first vice president and the economic vice president, the head of the planning and budget organization, the head of the central bank — has led to the elimination of the government’s subsidized “Preferred Exchange Rate” and its replacement with the free exchange rates, causing an unprecedented jump in prices and a massive increase in poverty, especially among the working people; acceleration of the privatization process; increase in the taxes on wage earners and small businesses; and the implementation of the Chamber of Commerce’s programs and policies that limit the legal rights of workers as much as possible.
The country’s pro-East forces control the military, law enforcement and security institutions. Iran’s big bourgeoisie, which mainly relies on the support of the middle and upper layers of Iranian society — who have grown and become more powerful at the expense of lives and livelihoods of millions of people — still control the country’s financial and economic arteries. This bourgeoisie is using the financial and economic means under its control to sabotage and block the implementation of the government’s pro-East policies — including the blocking of the proposed 25-year agreement between Iran and China, and the stonewalling of the North-South Trade Corridor with Russia and India.
Today, the Achilles heel of the Islamic Republic’s security strategy lies in the fact that the pro-East forces can only rely on Iran’s military power, on the one hand, and the potential support of the millions of workers, on the other. But history has amply demonstrated that a county’s military might alone cannot guarantee its domestic security and survival. The decisive guarantor in this regard is the support of its people, particularly of the millions of hardworking people. Those who think Iran’s military power alone can guarantee Iran’s security and stability are ignoring not only the historical evidence but also the determining role of domestic security. And this is precisely the error of judgment that the imperialist powers, especially the U.S., are now counting on to destabilize the Iranian state.
But the problem is, the millions of working masses, whose support is the only guarantor of the country’s domestic security, are the same people who have been witnessing the deterioration of their livelihood, living standard, and fundamental rights as a result of decades of rampant privatization and neoliberal economic policies, extreme economic exploitation, and suppression of their legitimate protests. And as we have witnessed in recent weeks, the imperialist powers, and pro-West political forces at home, have been using every opportunity to take advantage of people’s accumulated and rightful anger to destabilize the country. This constitutes the primary threat to the security of our country today — a threat that no military or security force alone can neutralize.
Many times in the past, including in an editorial we published on June 4, 2018, on the occasion of the withdrawal of the United States from the JCPOA, we have warned about this growing threat to the security of the country, and today we emphasize again:
The fact is that the extremely difficult and vulnerable situation that the Islamic Republic is in today is not only the result of its resistance to the imperialist programs in the region, but also a result of the repressive domestic policies and neoliberal programs that the Iranian government has imposed on the country’s economy for decades. These domestic policies have caused widespread corruption, astronomical concentration of wealth in the hands of a few, and a huge expansion of the class divide in society, on one hand, and poverty, unemployment, and widespread discontent among the masses of the working people, on the other. This has alienated a significant portion of the population from the ruling class and the government. The following must also be taken into account: the banning of political organizations and parties and labor unions; limiting people’s choices in elections by giving illegal powers to the Guardian Council; and the unlimited concentration of power in the hands of the Supreme Leader and his subordinate security, law enforcement, and military institutions. These also show the deep rift between the people and the government, and the vulnerability of the Islamic Republic to foreign military and economic pressures.
It should be expected that with further intensification of U.S. economic sanctions against Iran, the situation of the people inside the country will become much worse than it is now, and will lead to wider social crises, in the same way that we have witnessed in recent months in various cities of the country. The US has counted on this factor that by intensifying the crushing economic sanctions against Iran, it will be able to turn the existing discontent into a general uprising inside the country, thus paralyzing the country from within.
The Decisive Dilemma
Iranian adherents of the pro-East policy face a decisive dilemma. On the one hand, they are the target of an all-out organized attack by the imperialist states of Europe and the U.S., who seek to foment a velvet revolution to return Iran to the lap of the West. And on the other hand, the popular forces that can potentially rise up to defend the independence and territorial integrity of Iran and support the pro-East policy have not only become rightfully alienated and disillusioned with the performance of their government over the past decades, but a significant portion of them have now taken to the streets protesting their social and economic conditions.
In such a situation, those in the Iranian government who support the policy of resistance to U.S. actions and a pro-East policy are faced with an inevitable and decisive choice: either the continuation of the domestic status quo, i.e., maintaining the existing anti-people structures of the neoliberal economy and suppressing the rightful protests of the working people against neo-liberal policies by relying on harsh security and law enforcement measures; or understanding the critical nature of the present situation, recognizing and acceding to the democratic demands of the people, initiating concrete efforts to regain the trust of the masses by making fundamental changes to the economic structure of the country, and abolishing policies that violate social justice and people’s democratic rights. Either a return to policies compatible with Iran’s Constitution, or continuation of anti-people policies that contradict and violate our Constitution — this is the choice that will determine the future of our country in this global battle.
1. Continuation of the Domestic Status Quo
A look at the functioning of Iranian administrations over the last few decades shows that its dominant policy was to maintain the domestic status quo at any cost. The government views the domestic situation purely from a security point of view. From the beginning, this long-term single focus on security has prevented any organized action by the people to defend their political, economic and social rights, and has created suitable ground for the ruling classes to abuse their political and economic power. We can boldly say that the critical situation created in our society is more than anything else the product of this one-sided focus on security and the employment of economic, political and social repression. The vicious cycle of protest and repression the people of Iran have suffered from over the past decades testifies to the error of an obsessive focus on security above all else.
But if such a policy kept domestic affairs under control to this point, its continuation has now become impossible. And this has important reasons from international and national points of view.
From an international point of view, the U.S. has lost its hope for coming to terms with the independence-seeking and East-leaning forces in Iran. Failure of the JCPOA is a proof of this fact. In response to Iran’s participation in the global process of resistance to imperialist hegemony, the U.S. has now directed its efforts at the destabilization of the Iranian government, through sanctions and other economic pressures, incitement of domestic tensions through widespread use of media propaganda, and other visible and hidden sabotages — be it terroristic, military, or cyberattacks, directly or through regional allies such as Israel and Saudi Arabia, or domestic mercenaries. The goal of the United States and its allies with these actions is to make Iran’s social environment more insecure; destabilize the country’s political environment as much as possible; and to force the government Iran to increase its suppression of protest movements under the pretext of maintaining national security against foreign threats. The main goal of all these tactics is to make the people of Iran even more angry, and to steer their protests towards supporting a velvet revolution in Iran.
The imperialists’ goal relies on provoking a vicious cycle of mounting protest and repression in Iran to the point that the Iranian people request U.S. and Western intervention to defend “democracy” and “human rights.” Seen through this lens, there is no doubt that insistnce on maintaining the domestic status quo in Iran will only serve the U.S imperialism’s goals. It will result in the failure of the pro-East policy; the destruction of the country’s independence, and territorial integrity; and the return of a fragmented Iran to the lap of the West.
2. Understanding the Current Critical Situation
We have repeatedly written in our analytical articles about the contradictory relationship between the Islamic Republic’s policy of resisting foreign pressures and its domestic neoliberal economic policies. We have emphasized that Iran’s foreign policy of resisting the pressures of the United States and its allies will result in failure in the absence of any fundamental change in the structure of its neoliberal economic policies and without gaining the support of the millions inside our country who will face the consequences of that failure — a fact that the present critical situation has made more obvious.
As an example, in an editorial dated 13 of August 2021, under the title of “Intensification of the Imperialist Threats and the Current Dangerous Situation of the Country,” we wrote:
The official policy of “Neither East, Nor West,” that was declared by the government that came to power after the revolution, and the “Nor West” portion of which was sidelined during the last forty years by Pro-West liberal and neoliberal forces and defenders of big capital in the ruling circles, is now facing a dead-end due to the deadly economic, political and military pressures of imperialism. The explosive domestic situation brought about by these policies has led the ruling classes of the Islamic Republic to a crossroad: either the continuation of the same disastrous neoliberal economic policies (“Looking to the West”) and allowing a domestic explosion and the destruction of the whole system, or resisting imperialism in the only remaining way, i.e., by enacting major changes in socio-economic policies to reinstate social justice for the millions of masses, and seeking the support of other resisting countries, such as China and Russia, to strengthen Iran’s defense capabilities in the face of the deadly economic sanctions and military threats by imperialism.
The imperialist states are deliberately trying to bring the final moment of explosion as close as possible by refusing to remove their deadly sanctions and intensifying them even more, and by relying on the fact that, given the dominant neoliberal economic system of the country, the pressure of these sanctions will be increasingly transferred to the middle and lower economic strata of the society….
The urgency of the present situation poses puts fundamental question before us: Do the pro-East forces who are defending the policy of resistance have the will and the power to implement the fundamental domestic changes? And if there is no such will or power, what is the way forward for the popular movement of our country to get out of this chokepoint?
The answer to this question requires attention to some objective facts about the balance of forces inside Iran:
For decades, the economic interests of various factions of big capital in the Iranian state have been intertwined, and imposing restrictions on their common economic interests requires serious economic “surgery.” Even if the pro-East forces who are defending the policy of resistance recognize the necessity of such a “surgery” and have the will to do it, in practice they will not be able to carry it out from above and without relying on the power of the masses.
In our view, the discussion about the will and desire of the Pro-East forces of resistance to imperialism is non-sequitur. The fact is that these forces have already bitten the bullet and now they have to endure its consequences. The main question facing us today is whether or not these forces have the necessary power to complete this transition properly. But the people’s movement cannot stand idly by and wait for the results of their actions from the above. The masses must actively participate in this process and force the events in the direction of their national interest. And what will determine the final result of this fateful process is the correct approach of the popular forces at both national and international levels.
Which Way Out of the Quandary?
Whether we like it or not, the popular movement in Iran at this time has two options with opposing consequences. The first option is to allow the West and the internal pro-West forces to fuel the wave of people’s anger about internal conditions to the fullest extent possible, and steer the protests toward street clashes, impose a vicious cycle of destabilizing violence and repression, and thus lay the groundwork for the U.S. or its proxies to overthrow the government and partition the country. The second option is to take a sober and carefully planned approach to organizing the people’s movement based on a concerete analysis of the current situation. We must identify and adopt correct tactics of struggle which, while neutralizing the imperialist plots to hijack the people’s movement, will force the government to submit to the people’s demands. This is the only way for government to guarantee the independence and territorial integrity of Iran while remaining at the forefront of resistance against imperialism and creating a world based on law and the sovereignty of all nations.
The first option is what is now underway before our eyes. This option is being backed by imperialist forces and their propaganda media around the world. As we explained, imperialism’s goal with these instigations is nothing short of confiscating the Iranian people’s rightful demands; causing a wave of direct confrontation with the Iranian government and security forces around the country; fueling ethnic and religious conflicts particularly in the border areas of the country; intensifying and exploiting the cycle of violence to direct the protest movement toward subversive and separatist activities; and providing the imperialist collaborators with a pretext to invite the Western powers, and the U.S. in particular, to topple the central government of Iran. Considering the widespread internal discontent, this will certainly result in the disintegration of Iran.
It is obvious that no patriotic and popular force in Iran can allow itself to become a tool of imperialism for advancing this anti-national goal against our country. But today we regretfully see that many forces who consider themselves as defenders of the interests of the working people of Iran, contrary to the history of their past struggles, have now fallen into the trap of imperialist media propaganda. They carry out the West’s plans without any thought about its disastrous consequences for independence and territorial integrity of Iran, constantly pouring fuel on the fire that is kindled by imperialism against Iran. These forces do not realize that their present actions only serve to create public legitimacy for the right-wing forces affiliated with imperialism abroad — forces who have entered the battlefield with the financial and organizational assistance of Western intelligence agencies and their handmaidens in the region. We ask these forces to look more closely at who they are mistakenly aligning themselves with, and ask themselves what kind of future will their current course of action bring about for our country.
If the goal of this struggle is to establish social justice and guarantee the democratic rights of the Iranian people — a goal we also firmly support — it cannot be achieved by blindly falling into imperialist traps of spreading hatred and violence, by acting emotionally and turning our movement into an instrument of revenge against our government. Following such a path can only lead to the overthrow of the Islamic Republic, which can only help imperialism. Any attempt to establish a people’s democracy after such an overthrow will face definite failure. Such an approach may be successful in the first phase of overthrowing the Iranian government, but it will fail in the second phase of shaping the future of Iran. It is enough to look at the degree of organization of the Iranian people and the forces defending their rights inside the country to see the truth about the inevitable outcome.
The current behavior of those forces whose vision do not go beyond the first phase remind us of the famous Persian anecdote about two thieves who stole a donkey, and while quarreling about how to divide this booty, a third thief came, took the donkey and ran away. In the case of Iran today, the second phase will be determined by imperialism, who will take the donkey, not these Iranian wannabe liberators themselves. And the outcome our compatriots’ effort to overthrow the Iranian government, contrary to their expectation, will not be the establishment of social justice, nor any assurance of the people’s democratic rights.
Unlike these forces we do not see Iran as a bubble floating in a vacuum. Our world today is so intertwined that internal events in no country are determined solely by the internal forces. If the goal of our people is reclamation of their repressed rights and freedoms, then we must choose a strategy of struggle that is based on a concrete assessment of the totality of factors that affect the situation, both internally and externally. This is possible only qwith a cold and sober analysis, not dominated by mercurial and ever-changing emotions, and by employing revolutionary knowledge and patience. And the first step in that direction is to avoid falling into the trap of imperialism’s propaganda and to separate ourselves from the conspiring forces that are trying to turn Iran into another Yugoslavia, Libya, or Iraq, in line with U.S. imperialism’s plans.
Today, due to the path they have chosen and the threats from the U.S. and its allies, the pro-East forces in the Iranian government, even for the sake of protecting themselves, have no choice but to submit to the demands of the people. Our movement should take advantage of this emerging opportunity to organize, as widely as possible, the working people of Iran, and impose the rightful demands of the people upon on ruling circles of country. This requires preventing the infiltration of extremist slogans by U.S.-affiliated forces into the movement, who are trying to steer the movement toward direct confrontation with the government and opening the gate for more street violence and more repressive measures against our people. The U.S. is working to fuel confrontations and to make the atmosphere inside our country more repressive.
In this regard, the legal movement of Iran’s retirees and teachers for their rights, which demanded the implementation of the articles stipulated in the Constitution, and led to victories for them, shows us the correct strategy of struggle under these dangerous conditions. It is only by diligent adherence to this correct form of struggle, and by maintaining calm and revolutionary patience that our patriotic people’s movement can achieve more victories in a planned step-by-step process, and pave the way for fundamental changes in all aspects of society. One of the important prerequisites for the popular movement of our country for achieving its goals is the realistic approach of left forces to avoid falling into the chasm of a leftism dictated solely by emotional reactions.
To conclude, we draw the reader’s attention to these selected excerpts from our February 13, 2019 article titled “Response to Some Questions and Criticisms about the Analytical Document”:
In addition to the increasing danger caused by the actions of foreign actors and external pressures that we mentioned, the people of our country have been deprived during the past four decades of the existence of a unified left force and have had to carry on their struggles sporadically and, in most instances, spontaneously. Unfortunately, from the very beginning, our left movement has been suffering from the two fatal diseases of leftism and sectarianism, from which it has not yet been able to rid itself. Removing these key obstacles can pave the way for the success of our future struggles. It is time to put aside the illusion that “the more to the left means the more revolutionary” and to consider the objective situation of the world, the region and Iran, and try to find a scientific and correct solution in accordance with these objective conditions, and work together in a united way to advance the revolutionary process in Iran — something that should have been done from the very beginning of the  revolution.
We must not permit the rightful struggle of our people to be hijacked and redirected for Imperialism’s aims!
 To date, the Islamic Republic’s foreign policy of looking to the East is being implemented only in military and security sectors — particularly in expanded cooperation with Russia and China. In the economic sphere, however, the dominance of big bourgeois classes in Iran’s ruling circles has created a situation in which the policy of looking to the East is only used as an escape valve to relieve the heavy pressure of imperialist sanctions. As a result, the most important agreements and contracts mentioned above, which can bring economic development to Iran and improve the living conditions and livelihood of the people have yet to be implemented. Contrary to the statement of Amir-Abdollahian, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iran, the 25-year agreement between Iran and China has not yet been implemented. Also, despite a lapse of 10 years and repeated offers by the Russian government to provide capital to build the Rasht-Astara railway, the launch of the North-South transit route has also not been implemented.
 Kenneth M. Pollack et al., “Which Path to Persia? Options for a New American Strategy toward Iran,” Brooking Institution Press, 2009, Chapter 6, “The Velvet Revolution: Supporting a Popular Uprising,” (pp. 143-156)).