Revolution against revolution in Iran (1978-1980)

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The current Iranian regime is in no way sympathy or workers or women. Yet it is from the 1979 revolution in which Iranian workers were a major force. How is this possible?

Ayatollah Khomeini at the head of Iran’s Shiite clergy took office February 11, 1979, after the revolution, establishing the dictatorship still in place nearly 30 years later.

This takeover by Khomeini was the product not of revolution but against the revolution which was conducted in response to the Iranian bourgeoisie and the imperialist powers (France, USA) against the Revolution, which was a popular character, worker.

Against the revolution was victorious and it is derived from the leadership of the revolution. This is the diagnosis of Iranian revolutionaries learn from this missed opportunity by the Iranian proletariat in the brochure entitled “Revolution and against revolution in Iran. ”

Struggle of the workers of the oil industry, farmers’ struggle, struggle of oppressed nationalities, women’s struggle: all fights that only the working class can lead were the ingredients of the Iranian revolution. The absence of an independent policy of the working class, due to the bandwagon left and Iranian revolutionary, that is the reason for the failure of this revolution. This is a fair, diagnosis implacable when we know that these leftists who put Khomeini in power are often killed in its prisons. So they will not have died in vain, here is the text of Iranian comrades of the time, which draw lessons, to read and to read:


Socialism and Revolution is a magazine which has as its task to create a new group of Iranian revolutionary socialists. This brochure gives the point of view of trends involved in the publication of this review

Five years after the overthrow of the Shah’s regime, the basic features of the current state of the Iranian revolution all indicate a complete withdrawal of the revolutionary movement. The results are clear: all the gains of the exploited masses and laborious were lost; a brutal dictatorship, more barbarous than the Shah’s regime, was restored; “order” without capitalist thank you reappeared; and the Iranian economy was reintegrated into the world imperialist system.


a) The Iranian revolution was marked primarily by the fact that it represented the beginning of a period of direct intervention of the masses by the millions in the determination of the social order which was to establish. The breadth and depth of this phenomenon was unprecedented or in any previous historical period in Iran, or indeed in any of the revolutions in modern history. And the Iranian revolution will always be an excellent illustration of the ability of a mass movement down the expansion of political and military power of a brutal dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. The revolutionary upheaval gave rise to many forms of self-organization of the masses. The fate of the revolution would depend on the extension and development of these organs, namely shoras (councils) of workers, peasants and soldiers, neighborhood committees, etc.. Many sectors of the population who remained long inactive, were drawn into the struggle, including the women’s movement for equal rights, the movement of the oppressed nationalities to self-determination, the struggles of the unemployed for employment and social security, the student movement to control the educational system and its independence of the State, etc..

Today, all these movements and independent institutions have been eliminated, or they have been brutally destroyed or they have been converted into instruments of state repression without any control of the masses.

Movement shoras that despite its shortcomings was the most significant of them and resisted as long as the attacks against the revolution, is now completely crushed. His fate “legal” was presented to a future decision of the Islamic Assembly has already reduced its powers through the Constitution to those of an “Islamic” body “advisory” and “cooperative” (with bosses ) with participation of employers and placed under the direct control of the state. If they were raised in this restrictive framework, they would hardly any different evidence corporatist “unions” of the Shah, that is to say instruments of repression in capitalist enterprises. Anyway, any labor organization exists or is permitted by the laws of the Islamic Republic.

b) its objectives fundamental class, the revolution was a revolt against the injustices of the “white revolution” against the Shah and the economic crisis that accompanied the late 1970s. This revolution brought immediately important social and economic masses overwhelmingly gains. Workers actually seized wider sectors of private industry and the large state-owned industry, and we witnessed the beginning of the imposition of workers’ control over production and distribution unparalleled in the recent revolutions occurred capitalists in underdeveloped economies. The occupation of most large areas by farmers, land distribution by committees of independent village, the establishment of farmers’ cooperatives and bypassing middlemen, moneylenders and profiteers, also marked the revolutionary period. These traits have continued to occur in the dynamics of revolutionary struggles that continued after the fall of the Shah’s regime.

None of these achievements have been consolidated. We can say today that no layer exploited or oppressed think she won anything in this “revolution.” Even basic progress in living standards of the masses, namely the increase more or less general low wages, reduced work week, improving social security, housing the poor, etc. -. Were eaten or eliminated. In their place, there is hyperinflation, massive unemployment, the lengthening of working hours, increased homelessness and a growing exodus from the countryside to the cities.

Deep poverty of much of the masses is unmatched even during the worst years of the previous three decades.

c) The political model that emerges from the revolutionary upsurges occurred in the modern history of Iran, said that the central demands of the masses have always revolved around the question of democratic rights. The February revolution has conquered many democratic rights that were then raised struggles that have marked the history of the political movements of the past 80 years. For the first time the Iranian masses enjoyed fundamental rights of free speech and free association, freedom to engage in political activities, to demonstrate, the right to strike, the right to elect directors, etc..

All these achievements were brutally eliminated. They are not even present in the new “revolutionary” Islamic constitution. The level of democratic freedoms undertaken or recognized by the State is not comparable to the situation that existed before the beginning of the twentieth century. The only “right” recognized by the clerical power is the right of submission of any and all to the arbitrary will of the mullahs.

This form of state “Republican” is so repressive that it now allows the new bourgeois factions in power to intervene into the private lives of citizens. It is the State that decides what the masses believe, eat or drink. The central claim of the Iranian revolution of a truly democratic and representative the people’s constituent assembly has not been carried out. In its place, he established an Islamic Guardian Council appointed by the clergy and enjoying the right to cancel any decision it considers contradictory to Islamic code. Iran certainly has not been ruled so as undemocratic for nearly a century.

The fact that the Islamic state is much more repressive than any capitalist dictatorship appears fully in the treatment of women in Iran. We can not explain the religious reactionary attacks against the most basic rights of women only by the crisis capitalismse. They have much to do with this particular clerical power and archaic ideology.


a) The current regime that replaced the dictatorship of the Shah and now holds the reins of power, was more readily prepared and better equipped for the task of unleashing the most barbarous and inhuman repression against the oppressed and toiling masses.

The historic task of democratization of the state incumbent on the Iranian revolution was ruled by a regime that even demagogic phrase “legal” openly states that one man, completely out of control while secular, is the custodian of all power. In the “republic” of Khomeini, no representative body can not make decisions that contradict the will of Khomeini or senior faqhih. Khomeini has the right to decide who may be a candidate for election to cancel the election results change all social and political institutions, control all social resources, etc..

Instead of monarchical dictatorship, there are now a clerical dictatorship in Iran claiming a “divine” power absolutist and more unlimited. The separation of mosque and state, the most basic claim of the movement for democracy for over a century, is now more remote than it was before the constitutional revolution! 907-1909.

Capitalism, after removing some Shiite clergy to the functions of the State during the period of growth in Iran under the Pahlavi dynasty, now uses a system of theocratic form to oppose the revolution. The Islamic Republic is nothing more than a form of government in which a clerical sect whereas above the crass control “time” of the masses, was proclaimed supreme master of the destiny of society.

The ultra-centralized state that was formed with the help of imperialist powers after the Russian Revolution in order to block the progress of Bolshevism, had to rely on a system of national granting privileges to Farsis the same time that it completely eliminated the national rights of other nationalities. However, the current Islamic masters who claim that Islam has neither sacred nor nationalities borders, have faithfully followed the footsteps of the Pahlavi regarding the rights of oppressed nationalities in Iran. In their design, every victory struggles these nationalities to their national law represents a serious threat to the centralized state apparatus. Iranian Kurds who heroically defend their right to self-determination, were threatened with total physical annihilation. Military occupation of Kurdish areas, the Tehran regime has passed bombardment (including chemical bombs) villages and the destruction of crops, leaving entire regions devastated.

b) The importance and given to “ideological state apparatuses” did not prevent the strengthening of instruments of repression in dizzying proportions. The destruction of the Shah’s secret police, army, military tribunals, etc.., Were the more immediate objectives of the revolutionary movement. Even before the overthrow of the Shah, its instruments of repression weakened and disintegrated within the scope of mass mobilizations. Now, five years later, we see not only their recovery almost equal to the one they had before the revolution, but also the appearance of new instruments of repression and even more formidable claim to derive legitimacy from a level they are “from the revolution.” Besides the army and secret police reconstructed, there now has a network of so-called revolutionary institutions (nahads) without a common measure brutality with what was happening before. The Islamic Army Pasdaran Committees Imam (police district), Islamic Andjomans (associations operating in all enterprises and institutions), the Islamic Courts, the para-military force Hezbolahs (adherents to the “Party of God “), etc.., have forces to impose the harsh repression that we have seen in the history of the world.

Opposition to “the unity of the word” (the word of Khomeini) can lead to the execution of the guilty. Over the last two years alone, the Islamic regime executed 50 times more leftist than the Shah’s regime during his thirty years in power. The number of political prisoners has increased by at least ten, most detained without charges and without that we know their whereabouts. Moral, psychological and physical destruction of his political opponents implemented by the Khomeini regime to rarely been surpassed.

c) The size and the enormous power of the state bureaucracy has always been a target of popular struggles in Iran. Its dimensions have reached an unprecedented developed under the Shah’s regime. In fact, most of the social wealth was swallowed up by bureaucracy, unproductively. Many institutions were created for the sole purpose of legitimizing bribes, kickbacks “official” who fed the “social base” of the dictatorship. Today, the size of the bureaucracy fed at the expense of the masses has doubled.

The integration of instruments of clerical power in the state apparatus rebuilt resulted in one of the largest existing bureaucracies in backward countries. In addition to the 1.5 million “normal” state employees, there is now a clientelist base of 1.2 million mercenaries paid by the plan. Moreover, besides the so-called “revolutionary mass base” plan (consisting of more than 200,000 Pasdaran, 300,000 members of committees and other associations more firmly established as the Basij and Islamic), a large proportion of the clergy-even with all its network of mosques following commensal is also paid by 1’Etat more.

Iran is now in an absurd situation characterized by the fact that while oil revenues are recovered to a high level (23 million last year), and although it has ended much of consumption the most openly corrupt military-police apparatus of the Shah, the actual amount invested for development declined by one fifth compared to the pre-revolutionary period. At the same time, various charitable foundations mullahs away twice that amount for the welfare of the clergy and his entourage.


a) We can say that what distinguishes this other revolution experienced by Iran is its obvious anti-capitalist social. Much of the indigenous capital was expropriated after the revolution. Five years later, more than 60% of the great Iranian industry is “nationalized”. The elimination of the mass movement and the restoration of the bourgeois state bureaucratic apparatus nevertheless has created the conditions for a rapid return to a more ruthless “order” capitalist exploiter more, more corrupt and more backward than before.

A new layer of capitalist profiteers moved and replaced the Shah’s entourage. This layer, with the support of the clergy (with which it has political relations and socio-familial) and the state channels quickly amassed a huge fortune. The new capitalist rulers fractions, which are distinguished by a particularly bounded mentality, are obtained from merchants Bazaar and reveal a penchant for hoarding and speculation. “Enjoy fast” is the credo of this new bourgeoisie “nationalist”. It shows no qualms about using forms of accumulation barbarians in his eagerness to take advantage of the opportunities that she was deprived under the Shah.

Shortage of essential items, hyperinflation and overexploitation of workers and poor peasants are the only obvious characteristics of this “new” Islamic capitalism. Under the banner of Islam, the worst aspects of capitalism lingered Iran became “sacred” laws inviolable.

The new draft labor code leaves your hands free to capitalists in setting the length of the working day, as long as the individual worker currently made ​​by a “contract”. The mere fact that there are now more than four million unemployed means that capitalism can extract as much gain of its individual workers he wants. A committee that includes a representative of the owner and a representative of the Ministry of Labour, alongside a “representative” of the workers (who is not elected freely by the latter), may cancel a contract at the request of the owner. Any form of collective bargaining is considered Islamic.

The Guardian Council of the Islamic Constitution proclaimed the private, capitalist and land ownership, as sacrosanct and free from any limitation. The agrarian reform laws vaunted, but lean in reality laws instituted compulsory sale of land of large estates to the landless, have been canceled as deemed contrary to Islam. Already, the evacuation of people from land they had occupied after the revolution, is more or less completed by force.

Other proposals also demagogic nationalization of foreign trade turned into a law that facilitates the monopoly of a group of capitalist pro-regime on the foreign and domestic trade. Receive an import license is the surest way to become a member of the capitalist ruling clique. On their own profits from the difference between the exchange rate “official” and actual market prices are sufficient to last a patron hawkers.

The whatever grievances he can fly with respect to various specific capitalist groups Islamic regime of Khomeini, demonstrates daily that serves private property and class power based on the exploitation of the majority by a handful of profiteers reactionaries. The least we can say today is that the concentration of ownership and operating rates are stronger than ever.

b-demagogic anti-imperialist rhetoric of the Iranian regime has often attracted attention. But the reality is that its economic, political and military dependence on imperialism today is as profound, if not more than before. The Islamic government has demonstrated that it was willing to be as he was servile, and pay the price as high as it was to remain in government.

One of all oppressors and exploiters secret treaties signed by the Pahlavi regimes with various imperialist powers, a treaty known public and massively hated, was in fact canceled by the new regime. But even in this case, the actual content of the treaty has not yet been published. Not to irritate U.S. imperialism, the Iranian regime has done more. He canceled at the same time a treaty of an entirely different nature: the 1921 treaty with the Soviet Union.

The Islamic regime has given generously to the excess compensation to all foreign capital that he was forced to nationalize. And that, although most of the companies concerned were the Iranian banks are equivalent to several times their assets. The regime has also abandoned all so-called “loans” granted by the Shah to American friends, and alone worth nine billion dollars. He did not seriously attempt to enforce its rights in the purchase contract weapons twenty billion. Dollars, concluded with the United States, the Shah amount already paid. He capitulated to the exorbitant demands of many American companies, including Chase Manhattan Bank, which has three billion dollars to Iran. It is estimated that due to the sole occupation of the U.S. embassy in Tehran, Khomeini “1’antl-imperialist” disbursed to nine billion.

Iranian imports from major countries Imperialists returned in value at the highest level they had attained under the Shah. They now represent more than 90% of the total. The largest portion of these expenditures is devoted to the purchase of raw materials and food rather than machines. Joint ventures with imperialism bloom again. All consumer products almost without exception in Iran under license from International monopolies are paid as under the Shah. Only the product names have changed. Many foreign capitalists do not hide their joy at the huge and fast profits existing in Iran occasions. The only thing that slows down to some extent the penetration of imperialist companies the situation remains unstable, especially because of the war between Iran and Iraq.

It is well known that Iran is dependent on imperialism for its weapons. Besides the usual American and European suppliers, there is Israel, South Africa and South Korea. It is clear that even during the “hostage crisis,” the supply of weapons and American parts never Interrupted.

c-The foreign policy of the Iranian regime is the best indicator of its international alliances. All the concrete measures it has taken on the International scene beyond his empty rhetoric, were placed under the advocacy of the reaction. He publicly offered a unique anti forehead Turkey and Pakistan. The Iranian regime is already working with the military dictatorships in the fight against Kurdish and Baluchi movement. He offered lucrative trade agreements with these two most important allies of U.S. imperialism to encourage them to resurrect the old treaty that bound the three countries under the Shah. Policy “neither east nor west” meant in the Middle East a convergence of Iranian politics, despite its contradictory aspects and interests of certain imperialist powers. Within OPEC, the Iranians are in total agreement with the British. Within the non-aligned movement, they are the anti-block.

However, some nationalist petty bourgeois fractions within the Iranian regime adopted a position which, besides their deep hatred of communism and the Soviet Union, calls for non-intervention by the United States in the region and rejects all “values Western “including democracy. This product has a tendency to agitation and campaign against the “Great Satan” (the U.S.) and its allies in the Middle East, a trend that has influenced some directed against the United States, Saudi Arabia and some of the activities Gulf emirates, particularly in Lebanon. However, they were publicly condemned by Khomeini himself, as was the case in the matter of the alleged mining of the Red Sea.

His “holy war” against the Iraqi regime presented as an instrument of U.S. imperialism and the Zionist dupe, is the latest proof in whose name the Khomeini regime claims its 1’anti-imperialism. But this war is in the best interests of the United States and Israel, which both provide Iran, directly or indirectly, weapons, ammunition and spare parts. The U.S. military presence in the region 1’impérialisme is directly related to the war. With the Khomeini regime, the United States could build four military bases in the region and openly cooperate through joint military exercises with the reactionary Gulf sheikhs. This [war] also played a role in strengthening Israel’s position that after the fall of the Shah, became the only strategic ally of U.S. imperialism

The consolidation of the bourgeois state in Iran and political strengthening of Baathist regime in Iraq are both consequences of the war. The destruction of human lives and economic resources has profoundly weakened the two countries, while garnering the benefits of imperialism. Thus each system is supplied to the extent that it can continue the war without much to be allowed to win a decisive superiority. Four years of war have shifted the regional balance of power decisively in favor of imperialism. Currently it is the Iranian regime is the main architect of this situation.

The interest of a continuation of the war from the perspective of Khomeini is clear: it justifies the militarization of social life, the suppression of all the legitimate demands of the masses, the consolidation of the most cynical clerical factions within the regime and most importantly, a return to a situation of dependent capitalist system under the guise of the need to accept help whatever its origin.

Five years after the overthrow of the Shah’s regime, the basic features of the current state of the Iranian revolution all indicate a complete withdrawal of the revolutionary movement. The results are clear: all the gains of the exploited masses and laborious were lost; a brutal dictatorship, more barbarous than the Shah’s regime, was restored; “order” without capitalist thank you reappeared; and the Iranian economy was reintegrated into the world imperialist system.


The reality of the current situation in Iran indicates that the revolutionary mass movement fell, unable to compete against the revolution, that it completely takes the reins of power through a repressive bourgeois state rebuilt and even more formidable and that the new regime is rapidly creating the necessary recovery of a more corrupt and exploitative order conditions integrated into the world imperialist system.

How did the Iranian revolution it get there?


a-revolution against the ruling is actually after the revolution itself. These are precisely the forces that have claimed the leadership of the uprising in February that now are responsible for the repressive state and the direction of the revolutionary campaign against the Iranian bourgeoisie and world imperialism. Zero confusion is permitted on this topic. Imperialist, bourgeois factions ousted the country and the internal forces of the former dictatorship could not intervene and influence the course of events and indirectly through the management Khomeini. It is he who leads and who led during this period against the revolution.

Argue that because the Khomeini regime irritates imperialism, revolutionaries must give him their support, would be a serious mistake. The logic of such a position would inevitably lead to the capitulation to the pioneering advancement against-“being in reality.

Similarly, claiming that because the regime that emerged from the revolution has not yet been overturned by imperialism or the monarchist bourgeoisie, and thus that the revolution continues, albeit in a distorted form, equivalent to wear completely wrong judgment on the actual campaign against the Khomeini revolution in progress.

Against the revolution was victorious and it is derived from the leadership of the revolution.

It is a fact now perfectly clear and well documented before the February revolution, important sectors of the army, the secret police and the bureaucracy are spent in camp Khomeini. U.S. imperialism is also directly involved in eliciting negotiations between the leaders of the armed forces and the direction of Khomeini. Not to mention without many bourgeois entrepreneurs who have paid huge sums Khomeini to organize its “direction”.

Given the magnitude of the mass movement and its radicalism, the only way had against the revolution to defeat the revolution was to “attach” to the latter. This was only possible by supporting a fraction within the broad opposition against the Shah, capable of providing a measure of control over the masses. This was one of the most important factors, if not the largest, which made Khomeini was placed at the head of the mass movement.


a-spite against the Islamic revolution of Khomeini, the revolutionary movement of the masses is further developed and expanded after the fall of the Shah’s regime. The notion that Khomeini kept the masses under its total control is another myth of the Iranian revolution. That Khomeini never agreed to free elections, even immediately after the insurrection c. ‘Is to say, at the zenith of its popularity shows that even he did not take this myth seriously. Certainly, he had a mass base, and its core was the sector of the masses the best organized and most active. But it does not reflect the mass movement as a whole.

The vast majority of the revolutionary masses knew why she had fought the Shah and what might satisfy his aspirations. Experience the revolution had made aware of its own strength and the need to organize. Even when it is submitted to the leadership of Khomeini which had been imposed by force even before the uprising, she kept her own projects. It would be very simplistic to present consciousness of the mass movement as homogeneous in its confusion and its illusory but total confidence Khomeini.

This is despite Khomeini that the workers have organized shoras, driven capitalists and their managers, including those who had been appointed by the government of the Imam. The peasants occupied land despite the exhortations of the Revolutionary Council, urging them to wait for permission to do so. National minorities have begun to organize open repression despite the new regime. Women demonstrated for equal rights in direct opposition to Khomeini himself. Students took control of all training institutions despite calls “leaders” urging them to return to their studies. The masses have not surrendered their weapons despite instances of Khomeini himself. The soldiers resisted attempts of the new regime to dissolve their shoras and started their own, the former serving officers 1 army.

Two weeks after the uprising, mass protests were organized in several cities in opposition to the government appointed by Khomeini. More than 300,000 people attended the first event of the left at the 1st of May in Tehran. In a few weeks, and Fedayines Modjaheddines, perceived by the masses as to the left of the steering Khomeini, gained a mass base at least comparable to that of Khomeini and perhaps greater. Even the liberal bourgeois groups could boast a considerable base early in the process. The basis weight was reduced Khomeini increasingly. Outside of the first presidential elections, no election organized by the regime have exceeded 40% of participants. From the summer of 1979, Khomeini not enjoy any support among the oppressed nationalities, which represents the majority of the population and in the populous northern provinces. In all major industrial centers such as Tehran and Ahwaz Khomeini enjoyed only minimal support. Among students, the new regime had only 10-15% of supporters, a similar situation existed in the lower levels of the army. Six months before the fall of Bani Sadr, more than two million people have expressed their confidence in 1’encontre forces Khomeini in Tehran, while not Beheshti gathered less than 150,000 people in a rally competitor. In the first round of elections to the Majlis, while the anti-imperialist demagogy Khomeini was in full swing and despite rigging polling places, the left received more than 3.5 million votes. The masses have actually had illusions in relation to Khomeini, but not for long and at any time with regard to the majority of layers struggle workers, poor peasants, national minorities, women, soldiers, students etc..

b-II must seek the source of the weakness of the movement of revolutionary mass elsewhere, namely in the fact that the imposition of the leadership of Khomeini immediately caused a split within it. Evolutionary uprising was accompanied, after all, against the Islamic revolution led by Khomeini. This well-organized and supported by the state apparatus, mobilized not only against the forces of the old regime, but also against the revolution. In particular, in the early stages, which were decisive, while the boundary between them is not yet clear, the revolutionary masses could not oppose the necessary resistance to what seemed to many of them as a stakeholder their movement. Of course, the fact that the majority of the left is also fallen into the trap did not help things.

When the fraction of Khomeini imposed its own slogans mass demonstrations against the Shah left did not protest. When Khomeini appointed his provisional revolutionary government, Fedayines, The Modjaheddines, the Tudeh Party and other currents have argued. When Islamic courts pronounced death sentences against the supporters of the old regime in secret trials, the left applauded. When the regime began to address the rights of women under the slogan “Down with the westernized prostitutes”, left, at best turned a deaf ear on the pretext that it was a secondary issue . When freedom of the press was contested on the grounds that it did not affect the outset that the bourgeois press, the left did not resist. Shortly after, the left-wing press was prohibited.

When it was the turn of the working class to suffer these attacks, they were carried out under the guise of “Islamic shoras”. Many labor activists who were radicalized under the first mobilizations for war, dominated by management Khomeini could not grasp exactly what was going on the basis of their own experience. They did not resist these attacks because part of the working class took part. The memory of the mass movement “uni” which existed continued to haunt their conduct.

When bands thugs organized by the Islamic Republican Party began to openly confront all manifestations and independent meetings, the tactic was usually opposed to them was chanting their “unity, unity, the secret of victory.” After all, it was individuals who had participated in the struggle against the Shah. Later, when the project-revolutionary forces against Khomeini appeared clearly to everyone, it would be too late. Khomeini had lost most of its mass base, but what remained was much more efficiently organized and well tempered repression.

Fraction Khomeini, moreover, was never a passive observer of the erosion of its base. She used the power of the state it controlled (the mass media completely controlled the institution Friday prayers, mass demonstrations cut to order, etc..) To create a demagogic effervescence based a wave of anti-capitalist rhetoric and anti-imperialist. The occupation of the U.S. embassy in Tehran is probably the best example of this method.

Beat in Kurdistan and become extremely unpopular after eight months of attacks against the Iranian revolution, the regime found excellent coverage in the occupation of the embassy. The fraction of Khomeini blamed all ills on pro-American policy Bazargan, seized the state, and distracted the masses from their real struggles to show who gave to the American Embassy. When the workers who fought for independent shoras were forced by other workers to abandon the struggle in their business to go listen to the latest revelations about “liberals” and the speeches of Khomeini’s mullahs declaimed the scene of the “nest spy, “it was not easy to resist.

Thus the masses were gradually, sector after sector, as a result of successive waves of assaults, forced to submit to the authority of the Imam. While the revolutionary masses had no direction and were not united forces against the Khomeini revolution was directed from a well placed and well organized center, with all the means of repression and degradation. The outcome of the fight was not much doubt.

Especially since many political organizations that existed to represent the interests of the masses, were actually the voice of the revolution against.

c-The very composition of the mass base of Khomeini also greatly helped to sow confusion among the masses, contributing to their defeat. Instruments of repression of Khomeini fed on the poorest social forces and most flouted. “Khomeini’s soldiers” were recruited from the vast layers of the urban poor (unemployed migrant farmers) and pauperized petty bourgeoisie. Indeed, the Shah’s White Revolution had forced many farmers to seek employment in urban centers while the limited industrialization allowed to absorb a small percentage. The oriented industrialization production of consumer goods was also gradually undermined the domestic market share served by the petty bourgeoisie, forcing it to draw more and more in his family labor. The average size of the urban petty-bourgeois family had risen to 7.6 members in the 1970s.

These two layers were a huge reserve for instruments of repression. The urban poor alone accounted for about 20% of the population of most major cities. In Tehran eg i1 there were more than 700,000 in 1976. Iranian petty bourgeoisie is by far the largest social layer. Under the Shah’s regime, these layers were extremely atomized and no separate social perspective. Their vague ideas about social justice were easily diverted by the Shiite demagoguery. In their own eyes the poorest sectors of the industrial proletariat were privileged. The formula designed by bureaucrats Shah to designate slums inhabited by the urban poor, “off-limits” could just as well apply to their social status. The dictatorship of the Shah, more than five million people lived beyond the limits of society “civil”.

For many elements of these layers, even the recruitment by the hezbolahi brutal bands represented an extraordinary social promotion. By becoming an armed Pasdar, it became at the same time “king of the neighborhood.” The incorporation into the various instruments of repression conferred the right to “pass the privileged pagan” tobacco, and over the market, receiving wages for the effort. The Islamic regime has hardly improved the situation of the majority of these elements. But the mere promotion of a few individuals per area, was enough to give hope to others. These layers have long accepted mass and fanatically demagoguery Khomeini.

The only way to win the camp of the revolution would have been to show them a better way to satisfy their claims. This required independent organizations and a struggle against the capitalist state. This perspective could leave these layers themselves. We had to give them an example. And the only class able to do it was the working class led by a revolutionary party.

If the working class took the initiative in the mass movement, had faced the State and had won some improvements in living conditions, these layers could recognize the way to go forward. No social objective need not dictated they might become an instrument of Khomeini. This, especially the working class have taken over their claims on housing and employment.

The working class has shown its objective power and his ability to lead the mass of workers and oppressed by a general strike four months strike was the element that broke ‘the decisive way the dictatorship of the Shah. But it has not created its own independent national organization or a political leadership capable of taking the lead bullied layers. Instead, it was slaughtered by these sectors.


However, a fundamental cause of the failure of the Iranian revolution was a 1’absence révolutionnai proletarian organization re armed with a strategy and implemented in layers vanguard revolutionary program. It did not even exist a revolutionary organization of the minor participating in a program that would have resulted even in a distorted way, the objective of the Iranian revolution and provided a clear and consistent revolutionary masses perspective needs.

The fundamental lesson of the Iranian revolution is that if such an organization does not exist before the revolutionary upheavals, it is extremely unlikely that develops during the revolution itself. Given the rapid changes and transformations of the revolutionary situation, the complexity of social structures and class alliances in the most developed countries in arrears, and the relative strength of bourgeois formations, it is extremely difficult for a revolutionary force to develop from the revolution itself, unless you have implantations and traditions already established.

While there were small nuclei revolutionaries who fought for a revolutionary program and were even able to rapidly expand their influence and power in the first months of the revolution. But it was too little to affect the course of events. With each new wave of repression, every sharp turn to the political situation, the revolutionary groups lost most of what they had earned in the previous period. The first open attacks of the new regime led to opportunistic deviations and capitulationnistes. Almost all revolutionary groups had splits during the first year.

In countries like Iran, where the revolutionary periods are usually sandwiched between two periods of prolonged severe repression during which mass organizations can not grow, the importance of a revolutionary organization capable of providing leadership political and organizational masses is even clearer. A revolutionary organization that has not already established a base in the mass movement before the revolution, can not develop its forces quickly enough to allow him to help the masses to organize themselves.

The semi-Stalinist organization Fédayines and Modjaheddines neo-bourgeois radicals, who had fought against the Shah’s regime, grew quickly and turned into mass organizations of enormous dimensions. But neither the one nor the other had revolutionary leadership based on a revolutionary strategy. Neither one nor the other were able to understand the real dynamics of the Iranian revolution. Both ended up betraying the revolution. The first fell victim to cons-revolutionary strategy of class collaboration of the Tudeh Party, pro-Moscow, the other is returned to its roots and has taken its place as a part of the liberal bourgeois opposition.

The experience of the Iranian revolution has again confirmed the fact that in our time, a revolutionary leadership that does not fight consistently for a clear strategy for workers’ power, inevitably ends up in the camp of reaction. Class collaboration was the death knell of the Iranian revolution. In the absence of an anti-capitalist proletarian strategy, compromise with the bourgeois revolution-against-were inevitable.

The only way that could win the toiling and oppressed masses of the proletarian revolution, was, that the proletariat make himself the demonstration in action he was only able to defeat the bourgeoisie. However, the Iranian left has sought to attract the mass base of Khomeini by diluting a free class struggle and offering a compromise with the bourgeois and petty-bourgeois layers.

All groups, the Tudeh Party that best illustrates this teaching. This group, the oldest and richest traditions in the Iranian revolution was divided into three stages: the popular front against the Shah, the anti-imperialist democratic front and “developing” non-capitalist that would lead to socialism peacefully . The Tudeh Party was not prepared to include in its fronts anti-Shah monarchists, found himself in front of a real aligment of class forces in the revolution beyond his most unbridled fantasies. He surrendered immediately before the revolutionary coalition against the bourgeoisie and the clergy.

When a break loomed them, he proclaimed the fraction of Khomeini authentic anti-imperialist revolutionary force and granted him unconditional support. He rejected the protests of the masses against the anti-democratic practices of the Islamic regime, calling them “liberal penchant for bourgeois democracy.” When the bourgeois revolution against asserted his power by repressing the masses, the Tudeh Party cheered the temporary imprisonment of some employees of the U.S. Embassy as the greatest advance of the revolution.

Without the active support of the Tudeh Party, with many professionals, the clergy would have been much harder to crush the mass movement. Tudeh Party provides to the clergy of many managers and team leaders in nationalized industries, many propagandists in newspapers, television and radio controlled by the state, and even political interrogators in the jails of Khomeini. The fate that falls today Tudeh Party is the best object lesson on the outcome of such a policy.

b-Devoid of revolutionary strategy, the Iranian left could not understand the driving forces of the Iranian revolution and the nature forces clashed in it. A phase of rapid development of the revolution, she made fundamental errors. These errors ensured an easy victory against the revolution during the initial period was decisive.

In the period before the February revolution, the left did not exist as an independent trend in the mass movement. It was simply mixed with dominated by Khomeini and put behind its reactionary leadership movement. The only group left who criticized the Iranian government appointed by Khomeini was the HKS. Besides him, no trend left not distinguished Khomeini. The course was left to fight against the government of Bakhtiar, but it should not have the same time supporting the secret Islamic Revolutionary Council appointed by Khomeini. She should have called the masses to oppose any attempt to appoint a government from above. She could not win this battle, but it would have been better off in the following periods.

Immediately after the revolution, the left has accepted the call of the unified military command of the army and the clergy (who turned out later to have been led by a CIA agent). Many figures of the former regime adopted by the masses were handed to the clergy. “Revolutionary Islamic Courts” were applauded by the left. The first statements of the majority of leftist groups cheered Imam Khomeini for guiding the revolution to victory

A few months later we saw with perfect clarity what was the main threat against the revolution. The bourgeois government was quick to dismantle acquired masses. The only right way would have been to organize the defense and extension of democratic rights and resistance to any attempt by the regime to limit them. The central slogan befitting this period was the one who was to call for the immediate convening of a constituent assembly. Most groups have condoned this. It was for them to secondary problems. Meanwhile, the so-called “class demands” were reduced to purely economic reforms and against revolution managed to block the anti-capitalist dynamic of the Iranian revolution precisely limiting the democratic rights of the masses.

Similarly, the left was more interested in organizing their own groups to help the self-activity of the masses independent bodies. We hardly saw any real effort into the independent organization of the masses, the struggle for the democratization of these bodies and the fight to prevent the zealous clergy within them are necessary against the will of the revolution . Stalinist tradition of the Iranian left? Stalinist tradition of the Iranian left, and its bureaucratic approach to the mass movement, have strengthened substitutionist trends name which each group sought to form their own “mass organizations, which then kept” pure “and “independence” against any mixture. Thus, instead of patiently and regularly intervene in the actual movement of shoras to fight for their unification at the national level with a view to create the basis for a more générael fight for a government workers and peasants, all major groups, in the best case, sought to create their own “real” shoras.

This attitude was fatal to the revolution. In the initial period, more favorable to the revolution movement shoras was left to thank you for Khomeini’s forces. When the cons-revolutionary nature of the regime became clear, the forces of reaction had already consolidated a national network of these emasculated shoras they used it to crush the resistance of the working class.

Design stages of the Iranian revolution which endorsed the vast majority of the Iranian left led it to spend most of his time looking for alliances with the bourgeoisie instead of focusing its efforts on strengthening independent strength of the Iranian proletariat. In fact, the left is set to the trailer of bourgeois politics during the revolution. She agreed with Khomeini during the struggle against the Shah, and it joined the bourgeois opposition to the Shah in the fight against Khomeini. She never offered a clear independent program. Thus every demagogic maneuver against the revolution found the left helpless. The seizure of the U.S. embassy, for example, took the left completely unprepared. Not to mention the hysterical chauvinism that drowned the left in the early stages of the war between Iran and Iraq.

Today, we can say without exaggeration that for the struggle for democracy, the liberal bourgeois opposition, and even monarchists appeared more radical than the Stalinist left. While the field of anti-capitalist claim, against the Khomeini revolution went far beyond the left which clung to its minimum program developed for the democratic stage.


1. The overthrow of the Khomeini regime

a-The consolidation of clerical power Khomeini corresponded to the defeat of the revolutionary mass movement. There is absolutely no possibility of revival of the Iranian revolution outside the overthrow of the regime. The direction of Khomeini as it established the power of the revolution against the bourgeois state and rebuilt, was completely isolated. All that remains of the Islamic revolution today is a repressive and brutal dictatorship hated by the vast majority of workers and poor peasants Iranians. The central political claim to the vast majority of them is the overthrow of the Khomeini regime.

However, the current balance of forces is extremely unfavorable to the immediate setting the agenda of this perspective. It is clear that working period of political and organizational preparation is necessary.

This preparation should be structured around the key non-congratulatory claims of the Iranian revolution, despite its current defeat, remains strong in the minds of the masses. The demand for a constituent assembly elected democratically, expressing the will of the masses and based on their self-organization, remains a central claim can unify the vast majority of working people and the oppressed in revolutionary action. It must be linked to the struggle for the revival of the movement shoras that incorporates the most immediate experience of the masses. All the gains of the revolution were reaped by the movement and lost with defeat.

The struggle against the reactionary warmonger campaign Khomeini and claim an immediate end to the war with Iraq is a key issue in the current political situation that reflects the interests of the vast majority of workers and peasants of Iran.

These claims must also be linked to a series of specific democratic, economic and social measures that indicate the tasks that the future Constituent Assembly shall make its agenda. Among them, the claim of the right of oppressed nationalities to self-determination (and national constituent assemblies), the full equality of women’s rights, workers’ control and peasant production and distribution, and a plan solution to the current crisis.

These claims and fight for this program may provide the means to bring together in a unified movement all sectors of the masses, who would undertake the necessary movement to overthrow the Khomeini regime

b-The Khomeini regime in suppressing the revolution and reestablishing the power of the repressive bourgeois state has created the conditions for the return to bourgeois power “normal”. Against the Islamic revolution is transforming itself rapidly capitalist campaign openly for stabilization. This results in a situation where the clerical power of Khomeini fraction is becoming increasingly unacceptable to the bourgeoisie. The direction of Khomeini issued a landmark service bourgeoisie and its imperialist masters. Having performed this task, it is now asked to withdraw and leave the way clear for the direct rule of the bourgeoisie.

The enormity of the economic crisis, the ravages of war, mass unemployment, the collapse of the industry and agriculture of Iran, along with the extreme unpopularity of the current regime, creating an atmosphere more likely to lead the transition to a bourgeois republic or even a return to monarchy. Every day the power of Khomeini makes the most popular Iranian monarchy.

However, this transformation ahead-I so contradictory and dotted with crises. The power of the clergy is basically incompatible with the normal functioning of the bourgeois state. The bourgeoisie accepted only as transitional and temporary measure. While Khomeini fraction of the clergy is not willing to relinquish power that has conquered so easily. It is in this context that we must understand the current instability of the Islamic regime.

The resistance of the clergy to monarchist and republican bourgeois opposition from within and outside, should in no way be interpreted as the effect of the pressure of the Iranian revolution. It simply represents the attempts of the clergy to hold on to power as long as possible.

Do not design the Khomeini regime as a normal bourgeois regime that clearly understands the needs of the class it represents. In the best case, it is an extremely backward instrument of the bourgeoisie which it must now get rid of. By force if necessary. The revolutionaries are in no way release their determination to fight for the overthrow of this regime because bourgeois forces are also opposed. In fact, every day the power of this barbaric Islamic regime that passes makes it more popular the normal power of the bourgeoisie. The stability of the normal bourgeois power successor to Khomeini may directly depend on the mass struggles that lead today to overthrow the Islamic Republic. If the masses are not organized today to accomplish this task, the bourgeoisie will eventually establish a more stable regime on the ruins of the Iranian revolution.


a-Based traditions of struggle and organization of the Iranian working class revolutionaries must focus their efforts on stimulating all favorable to the reorganization of the labor movement factors.

The experience of the Iranian revolution and the role of the general strike in the revolutionary uprising of the masses have already shown, undoubtedly the central economic and social position of the Iranian proletariat. The demonstration was made that the growth of capitalism in recent decades has placed the Iranian working class at the head of all the revolutionary changes in Iran. The element that can lead to a favorable balance of power against the Islamic regime today is the organization of the working class. If it launched its organized force in the struggles of the vast majority of the population against Khomeini, nothing would prevent a revival of the revolutionary situation. In any case, this is the only way to put an end to the dreams of returning to the “good old days” caressed by the bourgeoisie.

b-despite the repression, the ability of the working class to organize and resist the capitalist offensive actually exists. The revolution, the long period of workers’ control and movement of shoras permeated the Iranian working class revolutionary experience you need to use in organizing the fight today. This experience, gained through active revolutionary struggles, generated a whole layer of militant workers who, although against beheaded by the Islamic revolution, has not been completely destroyed. Today, it is mainly this layer has the task of réorqanisation.

And indeed, such a movement already exists within the working class, based on his own experience. We are witnessing in many major industries attempts to form independent and combative workers committees of action, clandestine, to prepare the intervention in the daily struggles. In many plants, circles or clandestine workers’ committees already exist and are active. The large number of strikes organized during the last two years of the most severe repression indicates the potential that still exists within the working class.

Revolutionaries must build on this trend and seek to create, extend and unify the movement for factory committees. This objective can be achieved in the struggle for immediate demands and against the new capitalist laws depriving the working class of all its rights against the capitalist offensive increase the rate of exploitation.

A propaganda campaign explaining the fundamental tasks of the Iranian revolution and the means to prepare the working class for a general strike revolutionary changes can develop the groundwork for the resumption of mass action on a larger scale and provide to existing plant the necessary policy framework for their activities committees.

c-The main ally of the proletariat, namely the poor peasantry (especially emigrated to the cities), also begins to understand that the way of defense of the gains of the revolution depends on the fight against the attacks of the new regime. Revolutionaries must take note of the new attitude of these layers, attitude promoting reconstruction and rebirth of their own independent organizations (including farmers shoras and neighborhood committees). The wave of struggles against the return of large zamindarans provides a new reorganization of the rural poor base. Similarly the increasing problem of housing provides a pulse to the reorganization of the urban poor neighborhood committees.

Reconstruction of all the oppressed organizations (poor peasants, soldiers, women, youth) must go hand in hand with attempts to bond with the factory committees. Cooperatives of producers and consumers that had developed during the revolution (which have become instruments of rationing system of the State) have already provided a wealth of experience to the masses means to build and expand their relationship with other social strata. Struggles against 1’émasculation cooperatives by the central government can become a basis for the unification of all the oppressed in a common struggle against the regime Khorneini.


a-The defeat of the Iranian revolution is particularly visible in the decimation of all the forces of the left. Almost the entire leadership of the revolutionary organizations or was physically destroyed or forced into exile. The vast majority of executives opportunistic groups of class collaboration publicly denounced Marxism and proclaimed their submission to “the line of the Imam.”

Errors, jitter and frank betrayals of these groups led to a state of deep demoralization in the proletarian vanguard and widespread distrust of the left. A long period of patient work will be needed to rebuild the influence of the left in the movement of the workers and the toiling masses in Iran.

By cons, these losses have also demonstrated the complete bankruptcy of Stalinism and petty-bourgeois populism that have long historical scourges of the Iranian left. This is opportunism and class collaboration which were defeated. Revolutionary socialism is in no way discredited in the eyes of one ‘avant-garde by the experience of the Iranian revolution.

For many activists, it has now been demonstrated that only a revolutionary socialist strategy provides any hope of building an authentically revolutionary leadership.

Ideological and political conditions of the construction of the foundations of the core of a revolutionary workers party are ripe. Revolutionary traditions reviews opportunistic socialist currents appear in many leftist organizations. Denunciations of Stalinism and the theory of revolution by stages are now shared by many currents in development. This is the revolution itself closed the debate and put an end to doubts about the centrality of the role of the Iranian working class. These elements provide the basis to begin the fight to build a revolutionary party in the current situation.

b-It is therefore clear that this fight must take as its starting point the combination of all revolutionary currents in development today. This will facilitate and raise at the same time the formation of similar currents in other organizations. Today, you really need a non-sectarian and patient approach to advance the process of consolidation of the revolutionary left in Iran, an approach that will include open and democratic discussion of all the major problems of the Iranian revolution, the balance sheet of the left and lessons learned.

This process must be accompanied by a resolute struggle against opportunism and class collaboration and a consistent defense of revolutionary principles on which a genuinely revolutionary strategy can be built. All the forces that call themselves revolutionaries must make a practical proof first before sweeping their door. This is the only path by which the revolutionary left to regain its influence in the forefront and to renew its relationship with the mass movement


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