Oct 112022

Women are leading the struggle in Iran after the senseless murder of Mahsa Amini by the repressive, theocratic regime led by the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and presided over in government by the President Ebrahim Raisi.  They have displayed enormous courage in their protests against the rules governing their lives and the role of the morality police in enforcing those rules – anachronistic, repressive rules governing even mundane aspects of every woman’s life.  The women have been joined by their brothers, fathers and friends who understand the legitimacy of the women’s response to repression. 

The death of Mahsa Amini may have sparked the protests, but there are other issues that have angered the Iranian population over the past five or six years – economic issues in the face of rising prices and particularly the rise in petrol prices.  In 2018 and 2019 there were other protests across the country which challenged the economic policies of the state.

Many in the West have watched imperialism, primarily U.S. imperialism, manipulate the legitimate grievances of local populations to produce a change of regime favourably aligned with the interests of the international corporations and the governments who do their bidding.  They see in these recent protests in Iran the possibility of a similar “revolution”.  They rightly criticize the hypocrisy of western governments who claim to champion the rights of women while supporting regimes who run roughshod over the rights of women, men, children, whole populations so long as those regimes provide unrestricted access to resources and profits for the corporations.  This is the hypocrisy of the Canadian government which recognized the coup against a mildly progressive government in Honduras, gave active assistance to the efforts to overthrow the progressive government of Venezuela, participated in the overthrow of the democratically elected, progressive president of Haiti and which will now proclaim its condemnation of the Iranian government and its treatment of women and its lack of democracy.

Canadian imperialism has pushed for further sanctions on Iran, sanctions that have devastated, first and foremost, the working class and oppressed in Iran. The federal Liberal government and, sadly, their NDP backers have maintained the 2012 Conservative decision to break all diplomatic relations with Iran, which harms working class people in Canada and Iran.  The Communist Party of Canada condemn the Government of Canada for its use of sanctions at the behest of those who wish to turn Iran into a vassal petro-state for big oil companies.

We recognize that the dirty hands of imperialism may be deep into this crisis, funding certain elements, providing other forms of support for some sections, attempting to direct the outcome of these protests.  The danger of foreign manoeuvres is real and ever-present.  However, the grievances are also real, the anger is deep and profound, and the demonstrations are legitimate and based on popular resentment and revulsion at the policies and practices of the present Iranian regime. 

The Communist Party of Canada condemns any foreign governments and agencies trying to use the present protests to advance an imperialist agenda.  The best way to strengthen the struggle and ensure its success is for the working class, its organizations and political parties to join the struggle, to add their voices to those already in the streets, to play a leading role in the articulation of demands and in the direction and character of the resolution. 

We support the demands of the women of Iran, the demands of the students and the youth.  We support the desire of women to be rid of the constant limitations imposed by the theocratic rulers.   We applaud their fearless tenacity.  We urge all those involved to join hands with others seeking change to ensure their demands are embedded in a progressive agenda for the entire nation.   The opportunity for foreign triumph is real.  Finding the necessary allies among the most powerful enemies of reaction, the working class, is the most effective way to ensure that foreign manipulation is thwarted and that there is real progressive advance.  We endorse the assessment of the Tudeh Party of Iran which has characterized the present struggle as being primarily a protest of women, the young and of students and points out that the involvement of workers and other toilers, who led the protests of 2018 and 2019, is essential if the challenge to the repressive regime that the present protests represent are to have any hope of producing any sort of real change.

The Communist Party of Canada supports the people of Iran not the governments of imperialism and wish the women and their supporters the victory they deserve.   

Central Executive Committee, Communist Party of Canada