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Tudeh News - Jan/Feb 2016 - No. 289


STATEMENT OF THE TUDEH PARTY OF IRAN: ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE JOINT COMPREHENSIVE PLAN OF ACTION (JCPOA)
Jaunary17, 2016

The Central Committee of the Tudeh Part of Iran
PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION SHOW IS OVER, BUT THE STRUGGLE AGAINST THE DICTATORSHIP CONTINUES
 (Abridged from "Nameh Mardom", Central Organ of the Tudeh Party of Iran No. 993, Feb 22, 2016)

 

STATEMENT OF THE TUDEH PARTY OF IRAN: ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE JOINT COMPREHENSIVE PLAN OF ACTION (JCPOA)
Jaunary17, 2016

After years of destructive sanctions which have been imposed on our nation by  Western states as a result of the ill-advised policies of the Supreme Leader [Ayatollah Khamenei] and his appointees, on Saturday January 16th 2016 the negotiations between Iran and the 5+1 group were concluded and, after verification by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that Iran had fulfilled its commitments, the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and the fulfillment of the commitments of  other parties to the Plan, began.
In his radio-TV interview, Hassan Rouhani [Iranian President] said: “…today we have reached a turning point… As of today, Iran’s nuclear programme is no longer, under any fictitious pretext, a threat to global and regional peace. Rather, Iran’s nuclear programme will serve modern technology in line with the development of the country, and the stability and security of the region… The Islamic Republic [of Iran], instead of being legally under the pressure of six resolutions of the Security Council of the UN and 12 resolutions of the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency up to today, it is now under the obligation of a resolution that is presenting this JCPOA to the world as a resolution ratified by the Security Council of the UN.”
There is no doubt that the implementation of the JCPOA agreement is a significant event that will have substantial impact on political developments in our country. Despite all the propaganda claims of the leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) and the assessments of a number of opponents and supporters of the theocratic regime and the efforts of the regime’s leadership to hide almost a decade of destructive policies and the reasons for dragging the IRI to the secret negotiations with the US, which according to the existing records and documents had started two years before Hassan Rouhani’s administration took office, our party has published concrete and detailed analyses and assessments in this regard in the past two years, from which the following points can be highlighted:
First, as far as the regime and the government of Hassan Rouhani is concerned, signing the JCPOA and agreeing to all the conditions  limiting Iran’s nuclear industry was inevitable. The regime’s factions collectively supported the JCPOA and interaction with the USA, because the more than eight years of damaging policies of the administration of Ahmadinejad, who was installed by Ali Khamenei, and the devastating sanctions of imperialist states have created immense problems for our nation and country. Inflation, bankruptcy of manufacturing institutions, unemployment, and poverty are skyrocketing and the risk of social implosion is a serious threat to the survival of the theocratic regime of Iran. Despite all the deafening political maneuvers of the “concerned” factions connected to the military-security and their media outlets such as the Kayhan Daily newspaper, the government agreed to the key elements of the US and European countries’ conditions, of course under the supervision and with the full consent of the Supreme Leader, and opened the way for implementation of the JCPOA.
Second, the scope of the negotiations that led to the JCPOA was much broader than just the nuclear industry of Iran and the lifting of economic and financial sanctions, and was directly and closely related to the collaboration of the theocratic regime in Iran with the macro-policies of the US administration in the Middle East region. The concern of the reactionary governments of Israel and Saudi Arabia in respect of the JCPOA agreement and their strong opposition to it, and the tension-building actions of Saudi Arabia in recent weeks in the region, in addition to recent developments in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, and Syria, are all strong indications confirming this view.
Third, as we had pointed out previously, contrary to the claims of Hassan Rouhani and others, the implementation phase of the JCPOA will not coincide with the lifting of all the sanctions at once. The agreement reached is actually about “gradual lifting of sanctions” parallel to Iran’s execution of plans in line with the demands of the US and the EU. Today it has become clear that the representatives of the theocratic regime of Iran took part in the negotiations from a weak position, and according to the agreements reached they have to obtain the positive endorsement of the US and other parties to the agreement with regards to their good intention in the next 10 to 15 years (according to the official documents of the negotiations in the past year), because according to the agreed terms, if the US is not satisfied with the performance of the IRI it can immediately restore or snap back the “financial” sanctions.  In addition, if it is assessed that Iran has violated the terms of the JCPOA, the UN sanctions can be re-imposed without requiring a fresh vote in the Security Council [of the UN].
As we have stated previously, we are pleased that the leaders of Iran’s theocratic regime, under the pressure of public opinion and in response to the dangerous situation that was created as a result of the continuation of the reckless policies of the Supreme Leader and its installed government and which was threatening the survival of their rule, were forced to change their damaging and tension-building policies. We congratulate our people - who have suffered the most in the past ten years from those policies - on the occasion of the cessation of the main elements of the financial and economic sanctions and the easing of international pressure on our country. We hope that by strengthening the people’s pressure [on the government] and the raising of effective challenge to the economic policies that Hassan Rouhani has planned in line with the implementation of the JCPOA to satisfy imperialist bodies, the way for more positive and significant developments can be paved.
Clearly, the regime’s leaders will try to politically exploit the implementation of the JCPOA and the lifting of sanctions to bolster their social base and to overcome the current political crisis in the country. Amongst the consequences of and areas of attention in the implementation of the JCPOA is the regime’s hope to build political stability and to take control over the process and the outcomes of the forthcoming parliamentary elections and the elections of the Assembly of Experts in line with the directions and demands of the Supreme Leader, and to secure the “maximum” votes of the people and even of the “opponents of the regime” in these election spectacles, in which, according to the head of the policy-making council of the reformists, only 30  of the 3000  reformist candidates have not been disqualified.
From the point of view of the theocratic regime in Iran, the post JCPOA era (from the economic perspective) is assessed as the turning point in the attempt to alleviate the social-political crisis and to ease the harsh economic challenges and other problems such as the escalation of joblessness and poverty and the destitution of the people, the society being driven towards social implosion, and a turning point in the efforts of the government to achieve an “accelerating economic growth”. Obviously the macro-economic policies of the theocratic regime of Iran, which are the same neoliberal policies prescribed by the IMF and the World Back, cannot resolve the problems of the ailing economy of our country.
While welcoming the implementation of the JCPOA and the ending of some of the devastating financial and economic sanctions imposed on our nation, the Tudeh Party of Iran believes that it is only through the common struggle of all the freedom-loving forces and those seeking genuine reforms that the road to fundamental and significant change and development in Iran can be paved and the country saved from the current economic-political crisis. The battle against the deeply despotic and anti-people governance practices of the theocratic regime of Iran and the rejection of it as the dominant governance structure in the political regime of Iran is the first step in this difficult and tortuous struggle.

The Central Committee of the Tudeh Part of Iran
PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION SHOW IS OVER, BUT THE STRUGGLE AGAINST THE DICTATORSHIP CONTINUES
 (Abridged from "Nameh Mardom", Central Organ of the Tudeh Party of Iran No. 993, Feb 22, 2016)

On Friday 26th February, Iran will witness an election which has been dubbed as “crucial and important” by Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader, as well as by all of the regime’s factions, who have deemed the people’s participation in it to be essential. The voices of this spectrum are calling on the people to take part in an “election” in which the candidates are hand-picked by the Guardian Council, and the prerequisite for the candidacy was to express full loyalty to the current political regime, i.e. the theocratic dictatorship and its macro policies.
Disqualifications of more than 50% of nominees for candidacy by the Guardian Council and the subsequent re-disqualifying of 75% of those who objected to their barring, should be deemed as a general settlement over the shares of each ruling faction and the role each will play in the election farce of 26th February.
The key point here is that with the results of the re-disqualifications, it is now clear both to the people and the pro-regime reformists that no change, however small, can be expected through this process for the rights of the people. The policies of the regime leaders are clear. Just like the previous monarchical regime, in the “Islamic Iran” the fundamental rights of the people cannot be realised in the frameworks set by the despotic regime and the absolute rule of the Supreme Leader. The people are only allowed to partake in an “election” whose candidates have passed through the filters of the dark-minded Guardian Council.
By recklessly and wildly disqualifying a large number of pro-reform nominees, the regime leaders have made it clear to dissidents, political forces of the country as well as the society in general, that the reform course that started with the Presidential elections of 1997 and which led to the election of Mohammad Khatami - with the votes of the people having been cast against the Leader’s favourite- will not be permitted to continue as an option for the voters.
In the lead up to the vote, the Supreme Leader had stated that election is the “peoples’ right”. However, after optimistic speculations from some political forces about the good intentions of the Leader, the wide disqualifications of the pro-reform nominees- and even a number of the “Fundamentalists”- the regime’s plotting to engineer and steer the parliamentary election was revealed. Khamenei had previously stated that all people have to participate in the election, even those who “oppose the regime”, but after the vast disqualifications - which must have been carried out with his consent - he clarified his intention of what he had said: “…that does not mean that they can elect and send to the parliament individuals who oppose the regime… All qualified voters, even those who are critical of the regime, must participate… Nowhere in the world, are those who do not approve of the essence of a system allowed in the decision-making centres.” His message to the people and the political forces of the country is clear: he needs the peoples’ vote to justify the continuation of the regime. The people do not have the right to freely elect their candidates. The election process scheming of the theocratic regime of Iran is not an unknown to the people or the political forces of the nation.
On the eve of the Presidential election of 2014, Mohammad Khatami, the ex-President, presented a clear and accurate assessment of the election within the remit offered by the current regime. He said: “If they want to exclude reformists, or some of them, they will not care about the domestic or global public opinion. What is important is that those, whom they don’t want, don’t enter office - and I am sure that they don’t want us to come in to this election. Even if we come through this phase intact, we simply won’t be allowed to have more votes than that which they are prepared to accept.”
Clearly, not only will an assembly of the true representatives of the people not come out of this election show, but also the future parliament will overall continue the same course that the current parliament has taken. The engineering of the 26th February parliamentary election is the continuation of the usual trend in the theocratic regime of Iran, including the behind-the-scene groupings and competitions, the final outcome of which is a balance of power between the ruling factions based around allegiance to the absolute Supreme Leadership. Therefore, it would not be wrong to suggest that the balance and share of power amongst regime’s factions has been finalised in the last few weeks behind the scenes - and through the “Discretionary Supervision” and consultations - and the outcome of the voting on 26th February will not have any impact on that which has already been determined ‘from above’.
The fact of the matter is that the theocratic regime of Iran needs to gain political legitimacy in the eyes of the world to lay the ground for its plans for after the JCPOA (the nuclear Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, agreed between Iran and the 5+1 in January). The regime will try to encourage various strata of the society to take part in its controlled election by means of calculated propaganda and empty slogans.
If the Iranian pro-reform forces consider themselves to have a mission and role  in this crucial phase of our nation’s history, they have only one way to succeed, and that is to return to the people and try to mobilise the popular movement, in the same way that Mr. Mir-Hussein Mousavi did during the 2009 Presidential election.
Participating in this election at any cost means to submit to the demands of the Supreme religious Leader, and to lower the right of the people to a free election – and instead vote for the handpicked candidates of the Guardian Council.  These games cannot be considered to be elections. The outcome of partaking in such games is the continuation of the current dire situation. It is only through a joint struggle and organised protest of all the popular forces against the monopolist function and the despotic tendency of the current regime, that the ruling reaction could be pushed back and forced to yield to the peoples’ demands.
The point is that one cannot claim to be conducting a struggle for democratic “change” and at the same time keep silent about the main objectives of the “magnificent” and “maximal” election. The illusion cannot be promoted whereby the main socio-economic demands and expectations of the people - whose back has been broken under the economic pressure and political repression meted out by the theocratic regime - can be realised and met through such an election.
The Tudeh Party of Iran believes that in order to confront and fight the regime’s plot to integrate and consolidate the power through this election, it is necessary that a wide range of democratic, left, progressive, and popular forces take on a particular role in a broad struggle to expose, defeat and counteract this “project of trust-building with the regime” - which would basically mean bypassing the Green Movement and its detained leaders.
Those who decorate the theocratic regime are trying to once again put the people at the crossroads of choosing between “bad” and “worse”. However, the essence of this dictatorial regime will remain the same, and except for some superficial and trivial changes in the lives of the people, no other perspective is imaginable. It was for the purpose of putting such dire conditions as these behind them that 37 years ago the people of Iran confronted the dictatorship of the old regime leading to the victory of the 1979 revolution.
There is no doubt that after the 26th Feb election, a variety of regime factions, and its political circles, will play with the statistics and numbers and will give colourful speeches and analysis in the media to depict the result of the “maximum participation” of the people as a victory. However, the contradictions between the nation and the theocratic regime will not be resolved through tactical moves and playing with statistics. Right after the election-day, no matter how the ordinary people react to the “engineered election”, the level of the expectations of the people from JCPOA to get out of the gravely dire economic situation will be much higher than before...
The anti-dictatorship struggle and the process of moving on to the democratic phase of developments is unstoppable. The gravely dire economic situation constantly highlights the importance and organic connection between the political changes in favour of freedom, on the one hand, and economic changes in favour of social justice, on the other. No superficial argument can justify the continuation of theocratic dictatorship.
The future of our country is pregnant with major developments because the theocratic regime goes from one crisis to another and its only means to deal with crises, i.e. suppression, can no longer be dressed as anything else but dictatorship. In the period following JCPOA and after an election in which the regime has once more determined the composition of the parliament through trampling upon the rights of the people, we can and should challenge the theocratic dictatorship through the united action of social movements and political forces advocating democratic change. Creating the necessary force for real political development and to establish democracy is tied to establishing a broad unity among all the forces that believe in democracy and social justice in the country

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