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Iran

The Islamic regime in crisis steps up repression

Thursday 10 November 2022, by Dominique Lerouge

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After more than 50 days of demonstrations, the mobilization continues in Iran, in the face of a destabilised regime that is strengthening its repressive measures every day.

When it was established in 1979, the Islamic regime declared that it wanted to put an end to the domination of the country by Western powers. It also proclaimed itself to be the power of the poor and disadvantaged. But 43 years later :

- Iran is still economically dependent on international capital, as well as on the policies of foreign powers like the US, China and Russia;

- the rich have become increasingly wealthy, and mainly those associated with the theocratic regime.

In an attempt to reaffirm its identity, the regime is neurotically clinging to another of its foundations: the domination of women through, among other things, the tightening of the conditions for wearing the veil.

A will to fight that is not denied

The ostentatious display of wealth by the privileged exacerbates the rage of the youth. At the same time, the worsening of women’s oppression is leading to their desire to put an end to all misogynistic and patriarchal measures.

In addition, the seriousness of the economic crisis has been accompanied since the spring by a rise in social mobilizations.

All this explains why, for more than 50 days, the demonstrations have not weakened. On the contrary, they are becoming more radical, as shown by the omnipresence of slogans demanding an end to the theocracy and directly targeting the Supreme Guide, the paramilitary militias and the Revolutionary Guards (Pasdaran) on whom they depend.

What are the possibile future scenarios?

A blockade of the country by strikes would be the only way to put an end to Mullahrchia. But at this stage, a strike movement in the key sectors of the economy is overdue. The weak structuring of the workers’ movement after decades of dictatorships of the Shah and then the mullahs, as well as the imprisonment of a number of trade unionists (since May for some), explains in large part why the generalization of strikes will take time. But we should not forget that it took two years of struggle to overthrow the Shah.

For the British-Iranian researcher Yassamine Mather, “we are still a long way away from the fall of the regime”, even if “the Islamic Republic of Iran is now facing a major challenge, more serious than at any time in the past 44 years.” [1]

All indications are that the government has no intention of making concessions. It seems to believe that any search for possible compromises would constitute an admission of weakness, as well as an encouragement to mobilizations. To back down on the veil would also mean losing the support of the most fundamentalist currents in the regime.

In such conditions, we can expect a hardening of a repression that has already caused at least 273 deaths, including children and some twenty teenagers, thousands of injuries, and around 14,000 arrests.

In the face of this, international solidarity with the struggle of the people of Iran is more essential than ever.

10 November 2022

Translated by International Viewpoint from l’Anticapitaliste

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Footnotes

[1Weekly Worker, 20 October 2022 “Something has to give”.