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No to sanctions – hands off Iran!

Iranians besiege the British embassy


The growing chorus from world leaders demanding action against Iran threatens another war in the Middle East. Martin Suchanek examines what is behind the latest international manoeuvers and states the case against sanctions
Even Before the storming of the British Embassy in Tehran and the closure of the Iranian Embassy in London in revenge, Britain, the US and Israel were ramping up the campaign for sanctions against Iran. The Anglo-Saxon powers together with their Zionist regional policeman, have repeatedly threatened pre-emptive bombing raids – with the pretext that this is the only way to prevent Iran acquiring a nuclear bomb and in order to contain the regime’s regional ambitions. To this end they have strong armed the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) into claiming Iran has deceived the “international community”and is developing a bomb.

Their willing propagndists in the mainstream media have presented Iran as posing a real threat to the peoples of the Middle East, as if it is Iran who is preparing for a war. The complete opposite is the case.It is these powers and Israel who are the warmongers.

They are now using the occupation of the British embassy as “proof” of their argument and pressurising the less willing Western governments, like France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands to join them in increased sanctions and a near breaking off of diplomatic relations. So far they have only have recalled their ambassadors for “consultations”.

Despite being caught up in the Eurozone’s biggest crisis ever the December European Union summit has on its agenda as a “top item” sanctions and war threats against Iran.

The IAEA claims that Iran has carried out tests related to the “development of a nuclear device”. No one should be duped by this assertion: the “proof” that the agency provides is no more trustworthy than the “evidence” provided in Tony Blair’s “dodgy dossier” claiming to prove that Iraq had weapons on mass destruction. The IAEA allegations are simply designed to justify a political objective.

However, the attack on the British embassy carried out by the Basij militia is no genuine anti-imperialist action. If anything it strengthens the West’s campaign against Iran. The Basiji are reactionary thugs, more interested in imposing the rule of the dictatorial regime than mobilising opposition to imperialism in Iran and abroad.
This incident will make it much easier to push the EU to impose more severe sanctions, particularly against the financial and industrial/manufacturing sectors.

Why the war threat now?
The EU has expanded an Iranian blacklist and the US Senate passed a measure that could severely disrupt Iran’s oil revenue. Whether the sanctions will be followed by aerial bombardment is still open to question – but it is clear that a wing of the US, British and Israeli state forces is openly preparing the ground for such a strike.
Obama and his shield bearer Cameron want to undermine the relative independence which oil-rich Iran has shown since 1979. They designate any regime which obstructs their geostrategic interests as a “rogue states.” However their professed concern for human rights in Iran is entirely bogus and any attack they launch on it will not serve the cause of democracy but of their regional domination.

Ironically Iran’s regional strength is in part a product of the US regional aggression. The wars against neighbouring Iraq and Afghanistan removed regimes hostile to Iran, Indeed the present Iraqi regime -dominated by Shi’a parties is far closer to the Iranian regime than was Saddam Hussein. The US and its allies want to end the bad example of Iran’s defiance in the Islamic world – and boost the role of Saudi Arabia, the Gulf states and Turkey. Part and parcel of this plan is to remove or at least weaken the Assad regime in Syria, since this would remove one of the few allies Iran has in the Arab world.

But our picture of the motives behind this drive to war would be incomplete without understanding the threats against Iran as part of the increased rivalry between the US and the emerging Chinese imperialism. Just as China tries to build up its influence, the US has launched a massive diplomatic offensive in the Far East – recently with a visit in Myanmar (Burma) to improve relations with a “Chinese ally”. The threat against Iran is a part of this inter-imperialist conflict.

In the current period more aggressions against countries such as Iran are likely because of the struggle to re-divide the world. In the end, no diplomatic manoeuvres, no “peace missions” either by imperialist states or the UN will remove such threats. This can only be done by the action of millions – the workers, youth and the masses mobilised in the democratic revolutions in the Arab world and the Occupy Movement.

Finally, it is not a coincidence that the US is entering an election year. With huge domestic problems at home, President Obama is keen to distract attention and focus it elsewhere. If all else fails a good dose of Iran-bashing could help him in the polls with right-wing voters, alongside the assassination of Osama Bin Laden as well as the interventions in Libya and Yemen.

No sanctions

Revolutionary communists call on the working class around the world to oppose any sanctions against Iran. They will only serve to install a more pro-imperialist regime.

Obama, Cameron and all the other leaders who back these sanctions will have blood on their hands, as millions of ordinary Iranian workers, peasants and poor people suffer as a result. There is no such thing as “smart” sanctions: the aim is to turn the people against their government for incurring the wrath of the imperialists.
Therefore we demand the immediate lifting of all sanctions against Iran.

We reject the right of the International Atomic Energy Agency and any other puppet institution to “investigate” and judge Iranian policy. As long as the US, UK and their gendarme in the Middle East, Israel, are armed to the teeth with weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear missiles, it is pure humbug to deny Iran’s right to arm itself.
We oppose any war threats and we openly support Iran’s right to defend itself against any strike by the US, Israel, Britain, NATO or other regional allies.

However the defence of Iran against the Western imperialist threats should not, for one moment, mean supporting other imperialist powers such as China or Russia. They are not “friends of the Iranian people”, but only want to make the country their semi-colonial ally, dominated by their finance capital, serving as their geo-strategic and economic ally in the region.

Nor does defence of Iran against imperialist threats mean for a minute that we give the slightest political support to the reactionary Islamist regime in Tehran. The different factions of the clerical caste only express different strategies to establish Iran as a regional capitalist power. But relatively independent as Iran may be when it comes to defying the US and its allies; in the final analysis its reliance on selling oil to one or anther group of imperialist blocks dooms it to semi-colonial dependence.

At the same time, the clerical regime is based on the vicious exploitation of the working class in the oilfields and the factories. Faced with a growing economic crisis, with massive inflation around 20 per cent, the workers, the poor, women, youth and peasants are being made to pay for the crisis – just like all the other countries.

Anti-imperialism
The Iranian regime, its official and secret police and its reactionary semi-fascist Basij hit squads are defending the despotic and corrupt regime, just as the army and police do in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Syria.

Of course, sections of the regime will play the “anti-imperialist” card to generate popular support.
It has nothing to do with a real anti-imperialist policy designed to rally and organise the masses of workers and the poor, giving support to all the uprisings in the Arab world, etc, but is a political gamble by a faction of the regime in order to strengthen its own position.

All this lead to one conclusion: the defence of Iran against imperialist attack and the rejection of sanctions against the country must be a part of a broader political strategy aimed at the revolutionary overthrow of the Iranian regime, the struggle for a workers and peasant government to replace the Mullahs and to fulfil the democratic and social goals of the Iranian masses.

Only such a regime would be a reliable bulwark against imperialism and Zionism. It would support all the popular revolutions and workers struggles against the reactionary governments throughout the region. Their victories would lay the basis for a federation of workers and peasants’ states – a United Socialist States of the Middle East.

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