“This time the uprising entered a new phase in a more widespread and more united and determined way for the revolutionary overthrow of the Islamic Republic”

Interview with Marzieh Nazeri and Abbas Mansouran, the Central Committee and International Bureau Members of the Communist Party of Iran

-After the massacre of Mahsa Amini, there has been a wave of rampant, massive and militant protests throughout Iran. Upon that, we have tried to reach Iranian socialist, revolutionary and communist forces in order to get answers about what we wonder about. We addressed the same questions to the parties which we could have contact.-

  • 1- First of all, could you briefly introduce your party to our readers?

The Communist Party of Iran was founded on 2 September 1983. Despite the ups and downs that have occurred in the struggle for its goals after several decades of persistent activity, this party is fighting for the same goal that the revolutionary communists of the world have resolutely fought to achieve since the Communist Manifesto until today. Our party is the party of the workers, the toilers and the deprived, and is fighting for the workers’ government, the abolition of private property, and for socialism.

The Communist Party of Iran is fighting to overthrow the capitalistic Islamic regime in Iran through workers revolution and for the establishment of socialism in Iran.

Komaleh, the Kurdistan organization of the Communist Party of Iran, has a wide mass and radical stronghold in Iranian Kurdistan and among the working class, especially in the city of Sanandaj.

  • 2- How is the final condition? What is the frequency of protests and activities? Are these protests and activities common in the country and what do you think about the participation of people both in quantity and quality? And finally did you foresee possible come out a protest wave like that is living on before it began?

Labor protests in Iran intensified from the second half of 2006 due to the acceleration of capital neoliberalism policies, privatizations and deregulations that were imposed on the society, especially on women and workers from the low-income layers of the society, with the force of the Islamic government. Against this inherent tyranny of capital, the ruling religious tyranny of the Islamic government also became more intense. With these material grounds, labor movements intensified especially in 2009 under the pretext of protesting fraud in the government election. Since 2009, we have always had thousands of protests from workers, students, teachers, pensioners, drivers, women and other layers of society. In Iran, we had the uprising of 2017, which spread throughout Iran. Institutionalized corruption of the entire government, non-payment of wages, unemployment of millions, proxy wars and military interventions in Syria, Yemen, Lebanon, Iraq, Palestine, etc attempting to acquire nuclear weapons, becoming a proxy of Russia to advance the policies and interests of the ruling oligarchs in Russia, suppressing the people living in Iran, suppressing and bankrupting production centers, turning society into a market and consuming Chinese and foreign goods, humiliating women and violation of people’s rights and dozens of other factors caused the accumulation of people’s anger.

From December 28, 2017, this wave of protest took another form under the slogan of “Bread, Work, Freedom, Council administration”, which started from the protests of Haft-Tappeh sugarcane complex workers and Ahvaz steel company. In fact, in 2018, the labor stamp on the protests became prominent. This wave was deeply suppressed. Once again, the nationwide uprising of 2019 erupted in protest against fuel price hikes since November 15, 2019, also known as Bloody November, where at least 1,500 people were killed in just four days.

Regarding the current uprising, which our party calls “the Mehsa uprising”, referring to Mahsa Amini, 22 years old Iranian girl who was arrested by morality police for allegedly wearing her hijab too loosely and killed in police custody after being beaten in head several times by the police, started when her murder shocked the society and ignited the rage of the society. In fact, this uprising is not just a response to Mahsa’s death, but also a continuation of the previous accumulated uprisings and a response to the oppression by the Islamic regime against the society. This time the uprising entered a new phase in a more widespread and more united and determined way for the revolutionary overthrow of the Islamic Republic. Another prominent aspect of this uprising is the leadership of women in the demonstrations. Although women have always been at the forefront of protests and uprisings in Iran, this time the presence of women was impressive and glorious. Brutality of capitalist Isalmic Regime provoked the accumulated anger of people and demonstrations in many cities of Iran from Tehran to Kurdistan to Azerbaijan, Baluchistan, Khuzestan, Mazandaran and Gilan, from north to south and east to west of Iran. According to reliable reports, until september 26th, it has covered more than 100 cities and even villages, and in some cities it led to the capture of some governmental centers and the liberation of even the city of Oshnavieh in Kurdistan for one night, attacks on government military, religious, and police bases. Undoubtedly, this magnificent protest movement will change the balance of power in favor of labor and mass struggles. Also, Iranian women’s movement will enter a new stage in the fight against gender oppression, compulsory hijab and anti-women laws and regulations of the Islamic Republic. Despite police brutality and violence against protests and internet shutdowns, the uprising continues. So far 76 people have been reported dead and more than 1000 people arrested, but this has not caused the protests to subside, rather more and more people and cities join the uprising.


  • 3- We read some comments that emphasize the rising support of men against hijab. What is your observe and comment about it?

Men in Iran have never supported the imposition of compulsory hijab and other religious or Sharia laws in Iran. It should be remembered that women were the first major social section in Iran to be attacked by Khomeini’s order under the slogan of “ either hijab or be knocked on the head” ( in Persian: ya rosari ya tosari)! The command to impose hijab was a symbol of the captivity of women and an evil on the body and soul of women. Unfortunately women were left alone in 1978, and the leftist forces and men paid less attention to women against Hezbollah and the state fascism. This doesn’t not mean leftists supported the inhuman order of the Islamic government, but not taking it seriously caused the regime to advance with its anti-woman policies.

In the 1980s, free men and women, socialists, workers, and parts of the government opposition resisted, and the numbers and names of those killed in this decade show nearly 100,000 people. Only in the summer of 1988, by the order of Khomeini, the delegation led by Ebrahim Raisi, the murderous president, hanged more than 5,000 political prisoners and buried them in hidden mass graves.

The majority of Iranian people are against the mandatory hijab. Both men and women are affected by Islamic laws in Iran. The Islamic Republic has brought nothing but poverty, deprivation, unemployment, homelessness, isolation, lack of the most basic human rights for the Iranian society and milions of labor imigrants from Afganistan.

For the past 43 years, resistance, initiative, self-awareness and spontaneity of women in defiance of religious captivity have been endless. The Islamic Republic have tried to subjugate women in Iran and deprive them of their human identity and basic rights, but women not only defied these impositions and did not surrender, and not only did not submit to these slave laws, but also used every opportunity they had to fight against the regime.They have tried to impose their own values and wills on regime in the fields of education, sports, arts etc. Men in Iran, in solidarity with women, especially in the uprising to overthrow the regime in Iran, know that Iranian women deserve their rights as full human beings. They know that men and women in Iran have a common enemy and that is the criminal Islamic Republic.

  • 4- Is there an opposition coalition that you are participate driving the protests? What are the issues you are trying to take steps?

The demonstrations are led by the masses and their local leaders, and the leaders are among the protesters themselves on the streets. Of course, we have underground activists, especially in Kurdistan in Iran, who play a role in these demonstrations, but so far there is no organized leadership for the uprising, and let’s not forget the bourgeois opposition who has intensified its propaganda all over its media and trying to impose its own alternative. These have gathered abroad in more than ten bourgeois coalitions, from monarchists to nationalists to social democrats and others right wing parties which has no direct contact with upprising.

In Kurdistan, the nationalists have a coalition that was against street demonstration and called for a strike in Kurdistan, which practically meant people go and sit at their homes and then return to their normal work after few days, while people had correctly chosen to take their protests to the streets. Their call to strike failed and not many in Kurdistan replied positively to it and in fact more people took to the streets. This part of the opposition wants a share of local power, and a kind of federalism, and the rule of parties and are against the rule workers and toilers councils.

This popular uprising, in the long run, of course, can face the danger of being stolen by the bourgeois opposition, which has no practical participation and presence in the demonstrations, just like what happened in 1979 revolution. To tackle this risk, we hope that labor activists and organizations in Iran will take a positions and responsibility towards the uprising and lead it victory.

The working class in Iran has thousands of protests and strikes every year, and in these years, it has gained valuable experience and training in leading protests and strikes. We hope that they will use these experiences and paralyze the military machine of the Islamic regime with their nationwide strikes. Without the organized, class consciousness and independent presence of the working class, the revolutionary victory of this movement is not possible.

Workers leadership can guarantee the victory of the nationwide uprising. With the announcement of the teachers’ strike, the movement enters the initial phase of the nationwide strike and students and their families have also joined this movemen. The Islamic government was completely helpless in the face of the announcement of the teachers’ strike, and was forced to announce that it is not necessary for the students to go to the classrooms on the occasion of the recent pilgrimage. Fearing a student uprising, the Islamic government also closed all universitie sacross Iran. Students all over Iran are on strike. Workers in some sectors, including contract workers in the gas and oil sector, and the Haft Tappeh sugar cane complex, have announced their support for the uprising. The powerful and independent presence of the working class is a necessity. Conciousness about thier own class movement, its nature and goals, are the most vital revolutionary tasks of the vanguards of working class.

  • 5- What foresights do you have on the progress of the situation and what is the CP trying to organize at this stage?

This movement with the code name Mahsa has created a lot of excitement and hope in the society, but its continuation and progress depends on further expansion, more mobilization of people, the national strike of all workers and all sectors. The more the uprising mobilizes and expands, the less repressive forces can disperse the protestors and bring these protests to a street confrontation. The repressive forces all over Iran are not able to be reinforced and be sent to other cities. If tens and hundreds of thousands of people pour into the streets in Tehran and the big cities of Iran, the enemy forces will not be able to deal with this flood of people. If the working class, whose heart is undoubtedly beating with these street protests, supports the uprising with nationwide strikes and paralyzes the regime’s repressvie machine, it can guarantee the continuation and progress of this revolutionary uprising. This is what the Communist Party of Iran is trying to promote.

Labor strikes across the country by the working class and the connection between the street and the factory help and contribute to its victory. In fact, yesterday, the Council for Organizing Protests of Oil Contract Workers issued a statement in support of the mass uprising in Iran and against the repressions of the government. The statement reads: “We the oil workers warn that if the arrests, the killing of people and the harassment of women because of the hijab do not end and the oppression of people does not end, we will not remain silent.” “We will join the protests and shut down the work.” The statement of the teachers union council also gave a new impetus to the possibility of a general strike.

The Coordinating Council of Trade Union Organizations of Iranian Teachers, while strongly condemning government repression against defenseless people, especially the militarization of some schools, and arresting and imprisoning school and university students, and people in recent peaceful gatherings, called for the students to stand by their side in protesting against the criminal and violent behavior of the government and in accompanying the oppressed. The statement also requests the teachers and students not to go to the classrooms on Monday, September 26th and Wednesday, September 28th. The Coordination Council has also threatened that if the government doesn’t stop cracking down on people, they will announce the next plans in protest against the current situation.


  • 6- How is the situation of the women movement in general terms?

Women’s resistance and struggles against the Islamic Republic and the regime’s reactionary and anti-women laws that are going on every day and despite the brutal repressions, have disturbed the “psychological security” of the rulers and repressive forces and agents. The fight against the oppressive and misogynistic laws of the medieval Islamic regime is not only a women’s issue. Women’s struggles have now become a part of the ongoing and daily struggles of workers and poor people of Iran against unemployment, poverty, high prices and other social problems in Iran, and it shows that women and men in Iran are advancing their struggles in this field. The current movement is aimed at the revolutionary overthrow of the Islamic Republic.

  • 7- We heard and observed about a lot of strikes, calls for general strike and worker protests in the last period. What do you foresee about it and how can you describe working class movement’s progress?

From the years 2018 and 2019, and then in the summer of 2021, when the teachers movement, retirees, bus drivers in Tehran, and contract and project workers of oil and gas companies and contractors went on strike, the demands have been mostly class demands with some political demands. But in the current movement, a new and higher stage of class struggle is observable. Workers and their families participate in the movement throughout Iran, but not in a class-based, organized and independent manner. The slogans of vangaurd students in support and solidarity with the working class are the most prominent slogans. Long live socialism was heard in Sanandaj. The experience of the October 1917 in Russia and 1978 revolution in Iran show that the working class, as an independent class, is the last social section, who join the movement, but they play a decisive role in the victory of the uprising. It is expected that the working class in Iran from differnt decisive section of the productions and services join the coutrywide movement and carry out a general nationewide strike.

In this phase, where we are entering a revolutionary era, the masses of people will not surrender to the past conditions of absolute oppresion of the Islamic regime, and on the other hand, the regime no longer has the ability to advance its policies of suppression and oppression.

  • 8- Same as workers, we observe youth and especially student protests. How do you see the student movement?

There are nearly 4 million students and 16 million scholars in Iran. More than 10 million school students have been denied from entering school or going to higher classes due to poverty and inability to pay tuition fees. Millions of students are unemployed and have been forced to leave Iran in seek of a better life. Now the current movement has given the hope for freedom and the hope of returning to normal life and enjoying their rights. These teenagers and young fighters have nothing to lose on the streets. For this reason, with the advancement of the movemnt, and with each hour of continued presence in the streets, they gain more hope, they become more militant, and they scare less and less from the brutalities of Islamic regime and its troops.

  • 9- Can you briefly tell us about the situation and progress of the Revolutionary and Socialist movement as a whole? Finally, how was the position taken in the protest wave by these forces?

As mentioned, in the whole society and the working class, the tendency towards the revolutionary left has its base, especially in Kurdistan and Khuzestan (oil and gas centers) and in the north of Iran. But the radical and socialist parties and organizations, unfortunately, are behind the current movement for many reasons, including sever repression by the regime, the imprisonment of leftist and labor activists inside Iran and living in exile and being away from Iranian society. Now the righ wing, reformist and bourgeois forces are trying to strengthen and unite with each other. On the other hand, this effort has intensified between radical and socialist forces and parties. Hundreds of thousands of individuals, hundreds of groups and dozens of leftist and socialist organizations have unfortunately not been able to organize in a coalition. For nearly 4 years, a coalition named “Cooperation Council of Left and Socialist Forces” has been created between 6 political parties and organizations, including the Communist Party of Iran, and efforts are being made in Kurdistan to organize such an alliance among the socialists and among the leftist forces of the region. There are also some links between leftist and socialist parties and forces and the labor movement activists inside. The bourgeois opposition of the regime want to “overthrow” the Islamic regime and to sit in power with the help of global capitalists, while the leftists and communists are seeking  the revolutionary overthrowing of the Islamic government and capitalist relations through a working class revolution, with the aim of establishing socialism.


  • 10- What do you think about risk of imperialist intervention on your country?

If direct military intervention is meant, it is not a possible danger. Imperialists have been using proxy forces for a long time.

The US imperialism and The European Union have strenghten the İslamic State directly and indirectly. They have been selling weapons and basic strategic equipment to the İranian regime and helping it politically too. On the other hand, this imperialist faction is trying to organize an alternative political power instead of the collapsing Islamic regime, in case it is overthrown.

The imperialist forces like the US, EU and UK can actually be a risk to the Iranian revolution at any time. Right now they have started putting the liberal and bourgeois opposition together outside İran and they have created coalition so that they have an alternative in İran.

As one of the US senators said this morning: “This regime is going and the US has to think about a replacement for it.” This means a US intervention.

Of course Iranian people themselves should be aware. For sure, world powers will try to have the best alternative that represents their values and the capitalists best in Iran. On the other hand, Iranian people are aware of it. Especially we had the former revolution which was stolen by the imperialists and they brought Khomeini for us. So I guess this time they’ll be more careful.

Russia, with the greatest interests and dominance in political and military affairs in Iran, has pushed forward many of its projects. Now, the regime’s proxy forces from Hezbollah and other forces that were taken to Syria and Iraq have been seen in some cities in Iran that are brough to crack down on the Iraninan protestors.

The bourgeois opposition, including the People’s Mojahedin, monarchists, a colorful spectrum of nationalists, and the traditional left of the former pro-Russians, can play the role of imperialism’s Trojan.


  • 11- Is there anything you want to add?

In Iran, the constitutional revolution in 1906 led to a compromise between the clergy, the aristocracy and the bourgeoisie dependent on the imperialist powers. Those demands and social conditions made the constitutional movement of 1906 fail. Autocratic imperial rulers came to power, and lasted until 1978 with the help of American and British coups and repression and torture. The anti-royalty political revolution was stolen and with the help of the imperialists in the Guadalupe conference, fearing the power of the working class and the radical left, the religious alternative gained power. In these 43 years, the double tyranny of capitalism and religion has imposed inhumane conditions on the society. The current movement, which the reformists and a faction of the government are trying to degrade and show as an uprising against hijab, and deny the accumulated and concentrated demands of at least the last 120 years, is not just against forced hijab. It’s true that hijab is the symbol of women’s captivity and is burnt by protestors as a symbol of slavery, but this uprising is in fact against the whole apparatus of the Islamic Republic. The existence of the Islamic Republic is so tied to forced hijab. It has been so from the beginning of the regime. If the regime surrenders to this demand, it means suicide and the destruction of its ideological foundations. The society has risen up to overthrow the whole Islamic state. Our target is to continue to march forward towards the workers revolution.

At the end, we thank you for this interview.


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