Jul 222019

The Communist Party of Canada condemns the ongoing foreign belligerence and escalating drive to war against Iran and demands that the Canadian government take immediate action to de-escalate the crisis, which risks an all-out, regional war that could involve nuclear weapons. This includes the immediate withdrawal of all US and NATO forces from the region, and normalization of diplomatic relations with Iran.

The current crisis is the direct result of United States’ provocation, which is increasing on a daily basis.

In May 2018 the US chose to unilaterally abandon the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the so-called “Iran nuclear deal,” and reimpose sanctions on Iran. Donald Trump referred to these sanctions, signed into force in August 2018 and followed by a further in November 2018, as “the most biting sanctions ever imposed.” The nuclear deal was signed onto, and continues to be supported, by all UN Security Council countries, who also opposed the US withdrawal from the deal.

In April 2019, Trump unilaterally declared Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps to be a terrorist organization and announced that all countries importing Iranian oil will also be subject to US sanctions. The stated purpose was “to bring Iran’s oil exports to zero.”

The US continued its escalating provocation in May, by deploying an aircraft carrier strike group, Air Force bombers, and 1500 additional troops to the Middle East.

Almost every day since, the Trump administration has ratcheted up military tensions: declaring a “national emergency” in order to finalize an arms deal that funnels $8 billion in weapons to US allies – and Iran’s rivals – in Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates; sending an additional 1000 troops to the region; ordering, and then cancelling, a military strike in late June; unleashing cyber attacks against Iran; deploying F-22 stealth fighters to Qatar.

Iran, meanwhile, is caught in an untenable position. When the JCPOA was first negotiated in 2015, the Communist Party warned that the deal avoided many of the underlying issues that have contributed to insecurity, conflict and war in the region. “There [was] no discussion of the role of Israel, a nuclear weapons state who has not signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty, or the matter of military buildup in the region by the US and its allies. Similarly, [the agreement] does not discuss foreign interference in the domestic affairs of sovereign states, a recurring tactic of imperialism as it drives to overthrow legitimate governments in countries such as Syria. The plan is further weakened by the absence of either a clear timeline for eliminating sanctions, or a common agreement on which sanctions will be lifted.”

Although the United States has left the JCPOA and reimposed sanctions, responses by Iran remain subject to the terms of the agreement and, therefore, to penalty from the other signatories. So, when Iran incrementally, and symbolically, increased enriched uranium production, it was immediately denounced by France, Germany and Britain. Israel’s government has called for those countries to impose sanctions in response.

This crisis follows a script that the people of the world have seen many times. The imperialist states and organizations use finger-pointing and wild claims of threats, troop movements and build-ups, phony public relations gestures, and exaggerated or completely fabricated cases of aggression from the target country, all calculated to make war appear inevitable and even necessary.

Imperialist forces are using the many complexities in the region’s politics to promote misinformation and confusion. But the threat of war in the Middle East does not arise from countries who exercise their sovereign right to develop the nuclear energy industries to build their economies, nor from countries who oppose imperialist efforts to re-colonize the Middle East.

Rather, the concrete threat is the existing conventional and nuclear weapons that the US, its NATO allies and Israel constantly brandish in their effort to destabilize the region, to demonize governments that oppose imperialist plans, and to justify interference and war. The real danger is the economic and political interests of these same, imperialist, forces. In the first place, the US drive for worldwide access and control over oil and its transportation routes is the key factor in the current drive to war against Iran.

The Canadian government has allied itself with the US and a tiny minority of Western governments who, along with pro-war forces within Israel and a few reactionary Arab regimes, are seeking new pretexts for intervention and war. These governments have chosen militarism and war as their preferred option for expanding their spheres of influence and control over resources and markets. The result, always, is destruction, displacement, death and despair to the peoples of the countries who have been targeted.

This time the stakes are even higher, given the concentration of foreign military firepower in the region. A US-led war against Iran would quickly escalate into a regional conflict – or even broader – and involve nuclear-weapons powers including the US, NATO, Russia, and Israel.   

The Communist Party of Canada demands the immediate withdrawal of all US and NATO forces from the region. The CPC further demands that the Canadian government oppose the US provocations against Iran, along with all acts of foreign interference and aggression. Canada must restore and normalize its diplomatic relations with Iran, and work to end all sanctions against the people of Iran. The CPC calls for a new, independent foreign policy of peace, international cooperation and solidarity, with a focus on promoting comprehensive and general disarmament, beginning with the nuclear arsenals of the US, NATO and Israel.

Central Executive Committee, Communist Party of Canada