Monday, March 30, 2009

Iran History Revisited: Part 8

(See parts 1-7 below)

In January 2007, the editor-in-chief of the Kuwaiti-based Arab Times, Ahmed Al-Jarallah, reported that “A reliable source said President Bush… held a meeting with Vice President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Robert Gates…and other assistants in the White House where they discussed the plan to attack Iran in minute detail.” Yet in 2009 President Bush’s Defense Secretary, Robert Gates, is still the U.S. Secretary of Defense.

And as Eric Margolis observed in the February 16, 2009 issue of the Khaleeq Times:

“The CIA… funds at least one extremist Pakistani Sunni group that launches raids into Iran, attacking government posts, soldiers and civilians. Further covert American aid goes to armed separatist groups among Iran’s Arab and Azeri minorities…The US Congress has repeatedly voted hundreds of millions for such covert operations.

“The US has also waged a…financial and economic war against…Iran…

“Israeli elections produced a sharp move to the right, increasing chances Israel may make good on threats to attack Iran…”

Yet most U.S. high school social studies departments, ironically, still don’t require their students to study much 20th-century Iranian history.

Between 1942 and 1945, the number of Tudeh Party members in Iran continued to increase along with the Tudeh Party’s political influence. In the 1943-44 Iranian elections, for example, around 20% of all the Iranian votes went to either Tudeh Party candidates or Iranian left-oriented candidates who were part of the left-of-center bloc that the Tudeh Party supported. Of the 120 elected members of the Iranian parliament, the Majlis, 8 were members of the Tudeh Party in 1944. In addition, three elected members were pro-Tudeh Party but not formal Tudeh Party members; and 30 elected members of the Iranian parliament were politically left-of-center. Despite the death of the first Tudeh Party Chairman Eskandari in February 1944, by the time of the Tudeh Party Congress in 1944, the number of Iranians who were Tudeh Party members had jumped to 25,000; and 75% of the Tudeh Party members were recruited from the Iranian working-class.

The majority of the members of the Iranian Parliament in 1945, however, were still right-wing and anti-communist in their political orientation. But fearful of the Tudeh Party’s increasing political influence in Iranian society, the troops of the Shah of Iran’s government were ordered to occupy the Tudeh Party’s headquarters in August 1945 and publication of the Tudeh Party’s newspaper was then prohibited by the Shah’s regime. The Tudeh Party was ordered to also disband its branches in areas of Iran that were outside of Tehran.

When Tudeh Party members in Tehran attempted to protest the regime’s outlawing of their political group by marching in Tehran, the Shah of Iran’s security forces blocked the march. A street fight then broke out between Tudeh Party members and the Iranian police in which a leading Tudeh Party activist, Dr. Freydoun Keshavarz, was beaten up. In response, militant pro-Tudeh Party groups of Iranian workers then occupied towns, factories and railroad junctions in the northern part of Iran that was still occupied by foreign Soviet government troops.

An insurrection then broke out in the Turkish-speaking Azerbaijan region of Iran in September 1945; and, protected by the Soviet troops there, an autonomous Azerbaijan government was set up in November 1945 by leftist Azerbaijan activists that demanded national autonomy within a unified Iran for Azerbaijan and land reform. A regular army was also then formed by the new Azerbaijan government. With the support and protection of the Soviet troops that were occupying the north of Iran, a Kurdistan People’s Republic was also established within Iran in February 1946. (end of part 8)

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