War or Democracy: No to US Intervention in Iran!

While many governments ignore the violations of human and democratic rights in Iran perpetuated by its fundamentalist Islamist regime, it has to be recognised that in the current situation it is not Iran that is threatening to launch an all-out invasion of other states, it is the United States.

Two of Iran’s neighbours, Iraq and Afghanistan have suffered tens of thousands of dead and wounded civilians as a result of US aggression and terroristic assaults to their communities and populations since the Millennium.

Many will be able to recall the ‘softening up’, US strategy as a preliminary to the invasion of Iraq.  This took the form of a mounting propaganda offensive, with an allegation at its core, that Iraq represented a military threat not only to its neighbouring states but also to Europe.  Such claims culminated in the phoney US/UK dossier which claimed that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction (WMD) positioned and ready to attack the West.

As the invasion and occupation developed the focus of the propaganda changed towards the goal of regime change and a quest by the US/UK alliance to develop ‘democracy’ in Iraq.  The undemocratic dictatorial character of the Saddam Iraqi regime had been well documented over decades by progressive forces in Iraq and around the world.  However, it was not until the falsehood of WMD’s in Iraq was exposed and ditched that the invasion was presented as a democratic crusade.

Under the Trump presidency it is becoming increasingly clear the US is embarking on a similar ‘softening up’ campaign, this time against Iran, and like Iraq they are largely ignoring the legitimate struggle for democracy in Iran by its people and their organisations, including women’s groups, trade unions, students, peace campaigners and intellectuals.

For Trump and his religiously deranged Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Iran is presented as a threat to its neighbours and the US.  During a speech to the Heritage Foundation last year he set out his 12 commandments or conditions he wished to impose on Iran.  These were wide ranging, alarmist and threatening, forming the basis for the justification of the US in its attempts to sabotage the internationally agreed nuclear deal with Iran.

There are two other aims of this policy and both are based on fabrication and wishful thinking by the United States government.  Firstly, while the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA), known commonly as the Iran nuclear deal, is important to lifting international sanctions against Iran and was the principal motivation behind the dictatorship’s agreement, the developing crisis in the Iranian economy and growing impoverishment of its people was not entirely the consequence of sanctions.  The assertions of the US that its economic sanctions were proving effective were massively exaggerated and have largely served to split Western economic interests between those supporting the nuclear deal and still trading with Iran and those supporting the US.  In reality the architects of Iran’s economic, social and political crisis are the Iranian theocratic dictators themselves, moreover growing numbers of the Iranian people understand this reality. The Iranian people can win democracy and overcome the crisis for themselves, but they need solidarity not war!  Secondly, US policy and recent bellicose statements such as its characterisation of Iran’s infamous Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) as an international terrorist organisation, are aimed at spreading international alarm about Iran and pushing public opinion towards justifying military action on the country.  That is war on Iran.

The US declaration on the IRGC, given that the latter forms a significant section of the military forces of the theocratic state, will without doubt significantly increase the potential for a flash point for conflict in the region – especially given that this is the first time that the US has characterised as “terrorist” the armed forces of a sovereign state. The hawks in the US administration including John Bolton, the National Security Adviser, Vice President Mike Pence and the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are very well aware of this and welcome it.

While the mobilisation of public opinion against the disastrous war on Iraq did not stop the war itself, it did help expose the falsity of the West’s reasons for the invasion and showed the true strategic aim of the US/UK interests in the Middle East, which itself rests heavily on its alliance with the Saudi dictatorship and the Israeli apartheid regime.

If and when the US launches an attack on Iran, an even greater mobilisation of public opinion will be necessary if a conflagration greater than that witnessed in Iraq is to be avoided.  The stakes could not be higher.  A US led war with Iran would take us all to the precipice of world war.

Jamshid Ahmadi is the Assistant General Secretary of the Committee for the Defence of Iranian Peoples Right (CODIR).  CODIR is supported by UNITE, UNISON, NEU, NASUWT, UCU, FBU and RMT and other trade unions in Europe, Canada and the US. It campaigns for human and democratic rights in Iran.


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