Revolution #192, February 14, 2010

Waves of Struggle Continue in Iran

The struggle in Iran has continued to simmer and erupt. Iranian people—especially youth and women—took to the streets in protest at the end of December. And more protests are planned for later this month.

Last June, one candidate in the Iranian elections—the prime minister, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad—seemed to steal the election. This was one outrage too many for millions of Iranian people, who had attached their hopes for change to a competing candidate, Mir-Hossein Mousavi. The people rebelled in the streets, and the section of rulers that had backed Mousavi also began to oppose the government. The government—headed by Ahmadinejad and the overall religious ruler Khamenei—reacted with fierce repression. The government beat and jailed people, and even murdered dozens of protesters, on the streets and in custody. Now the state has begun to hang people involved in the protest movement. Meanwhile, the rulers of the U.S. are attempting to use the crisis to further their own interests; they want to force Iran to conform more to U.S. aims in the region, and even totally change the regime.

Iran is an Islamic Republic—its laws are based on the Qur’an (Koran). One thing this means is that women are severely discriminated against—forced to dress in certain ways, unequal before the law, and constantly harassed by religious police. Mousavi wants to maintain this form of rule, while reforming some aspects of it. Ahmadinejad represents those who want to crack down harder.

As this struggle has developed, the masses have begun to get out of Mousavi’s control. At the end of December, there was sharp fighting in the streets, which went further in its demands and opposition than ever before. Increasingly people are calling into question the Islamic Republic itself. But Mousavi wants to maintain the Islamic Republic—he just wants to reform some aspects of it in order to make it better able to contain people’s anger and to fit itself into the imperialist geostrategic order and economic structure in a way more advantageous for the clique he represents. As a result, Mousavi is now offering to compromise.

Revolutionary communist forces are in the thick of all this, working to bring forward a real alternative and win masses to all-the-way revolution, one that would both overthrow the Islamic Republic and rupture with U.S. imperialism.

See our article online for more analysis of Mousavi’s maneuvering and the overall struggle (“Fearless Upsurge Rocks Iran,”

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