Friday, March 27, 2009

Iran History Revisited: Part 5

(See parts 1-4 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.

In 1927 a second congress of the repressed Persian Communist Party [PCP] was held and PCP activists decided to work underground for the following aims in Iran:

1. elimination of Iranian monarchy and rejection of an Iranian “bourgeois” parliamentary republic;
2. national rights for all nationalities within Iran;
3. a new army of workers and peasants for Iran;
4. confiscation of all installations of the Anglo-Persian Oil Company in Iran;
5. abolition of foreign concessions in Iran;
6. establishment of agricultural lending banks;
7. surrender of all Iranian religious endowments and Iranian big estates to Iranian peasants;
8. confiscate the property of the Shah of Iran, the Iranian aristocracy and Iranian tribal chieftains; and
9. abolish all debts owned by the Iranian peasants.

The following specific political demands were also made by the Second Congress of the PCP in 1927:

1. full freedom for Iranian labor unions and Iranian political organizations;
2. Iranian government recognition of labor unions;
3. free speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of the press and the right to strike be established in Iran;
4. collective bargaining and contract rights for labor unions in Iran;
5. establishment of a minimum wage in Iran; and
6. housing be provided for Iranian workers in the oil and fishing industries.

Two years after this 1927 PCP Congress, oil industry workers in the Khuzistan area of Iran went on strike. But by 1931, Reza Shah Pahlavi’s regime had formally outlawed even more extensively the PCP and the PCP’s front groups under the June 1931 Anti-Communist Act. So by the end of 1931, around 150 Iranian communist activists were being held in the Reza Shah Pahlavi regime’s prisons. Yet between 1933 and 1937 a discussion group of left intellectuals in Iran, led by Dr. Taghi Erani, was still able to start and publish abroad, in Europe, a theoretical journal, titled Donya (‘Universe”), to promote the democratization of Iranian society. (end of part 5)