Remarks on the Student Protests by the Anti-imperialist Camp
For several weeks Iranian students are fighting for democratic rights and more liberties. The government`s answer was repression and detention of journalists and intellectuals. We condemn this repression and express our honest, if critical, solidarity with the student movement in Iran. Honest, because we share their democratic demands; critical, because they might serve the interest of the White House who want to re-claim Iran for the US zone of influence.
There is no doubt that Iran is scheduled for George Bush`s aggression – he had called Iran a "rogue state" and part of the "axis of evil". On January 28 he had said in his state of the union speech: "We also see Iranian citizens risking intimidation and death as they speak out for liberty and human rights and democracy. Iranians, like all people, have a right to choose their own government and determine their own destiny -- and the United States supports their aspirations to live in freedom."
Soon after that, on May 26th, Donald Rumsfeld told the Washington Post: "If there is a need to take action to topple the Iranian regime in a popular uprising …… we are ready to do that, especially if they don`t take any measures against al-Qa`ida people who are on Iranian territory." We don`t believe, that tens of thousands of Iranian students are puppets of George Bush or CIA agents, but it`s clear that their actions collude with US interests. The White House hopes, that the struggle for democratic rights will provide an opportunity for direct – maybe armed – intervention.
Solidarity with the democratic movement in Iran is important, but it is decisive not to howl with the pack of wolves and to do the work of the White House. We reject any foreign intervention and we reject the characterisation of Iran as "religious fascism" (which is very popular among the left). Politically, this characterisation has only one meaning: against fascism, collaboration with any forces is possible – as during World War II –, including the United States.
The temporary victory of the USA in Iraq has claimed victims also in Europe. Among them is the anti-imperialist tradition, to see the particular as part of the general, to realise all contradictions, and to know which of them are central. At the first glance that has nothing to do with the opposition forces in Iran, but as a matter of fact the regime in Teheran is an obstacle for US military expansion, and it is under attack because of that. That is sufficient in the concrete situation when Iran is under increasing US pressure, to side with Iran to defend it against the US.
We have to support the fight for democracy in Iran, but that means solidarity for a people that has led a determined and heroic struggle against the USA and the Shah. To fight for democracy also means to openly say that the main enemy is US imperialism, it means to demand the withdrawal of US troops from the borders, to demand the solidarity of the oppressed, not of the empire.
Of course we lack vital information, of course it is propaganda when the media of mass disinformation tell us that the students in Iran can`t wait to embrace the West. So far we have not received a clear position from the University of Teheran – this would be extremely important information for the left in the West during the present situation in the Middle East.