The massive struggles by the Iranian people for peace, human and democratic rights and social justice has the full solidarity of the Communist Party of Canada; at the same time, we also call for an end to U.S. imperialist sanctions and war threats which only punish working people, not the leaders of the repressive regime.
During November, demonstrations in 100 cities across 23 out of Iran’s 31 provinces drew hundreds of thousands of people, after the government’s decision to remove subsidies on fuel prices resulted in increases of up to 300%, at a time when US sanctions have led to massive inflation and unemployment.
After Supreme religious leader Ali Khamenei issued instructions to crush the protest movement, security forces arrested 1000 peaceful protesters on November 16 alone. Verified reports said that at least 143 protesters in 21 cities were killed in the first few days of the crackdown. The real death toll is now estimated in the hundreds, including people shot in the head or the upper torso by security forces. Over 3700 people have been reported injured, more than 7000 arrested, and hundreds more are missing. The government shut down Iran’s entire internet system for over a week, and phone lines have been actively monitored by the security agencies. Iranian officials have warned that anyone trying to circumvent the internet ban by using other means to send information about the protests would be arrested and charged with treason, which carries the death penalty.
All progressive and left forces in Iran, including our comrades in the Tudeh Party, have supported the popular demonstrations and the legitimate demands of the people for change. We stand in solidarity with their brave struggle against the repressive measures adopted by the authorities, and we demand the immediate release of all prisoners.
As we join with others to protest the violence against peaceful demonstrations, we also warn against any calls for imperialist “humanitarian intervention”. The stage for the latest events was set by Donald Trump’s decision to tear up the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, adopted by Iran and the P5+1 (US, UK, France, Russia, China + Germany) together with the European Union, and to instead unilaterally impose US sanctions which intensified Iran’s economic problems. Scrapping the Iran Nuclear Deal had the effect of further isolating Iran and strengthening its security forces.
At this critical moment, support for U.S. interference in any form means backing imperialist plans to impose U.S. domination of Iran through a new version of the brutal Shah regime. As we have seen in other countries, U.S. military involvement does not bring peace and stability, but it does have the potential to spark a wider war in the Middle East, and even poses the danger of a catastrophic nuclear conflict. Genuine international solidarity means standing together with the popular movements of the Iranian people in their fight for peace, human rights, democracy and social justice; the people of Iran will win their freedom through their own heroic efforts. The Communist Party of Canada will continue to provide such solidarity as the struggle continues.
Central Executive Committee, Communist Party of Canada