Above: Mass funeral procession in the Iranian city of Mashhad for two security officers slain by rioters capitalising on the passing of Mahsa Amini.
25-09-2022: On September 13 in Tehran, 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini was taken into police custody for wearing a hijab which was deemed “inappropriate”. Unfortunately, she collapsed into a coma and later died, which triggered protests in the Iranian capital and in the Kurdistan province. It didn’t take long for a swathe of Western backed anti-government groups to use this incident to once again push for reactionary subversion inside the Islamic Republic of Iran. These groups claimed – without evidence – that Amini was beaten or tortured to death by the police. The Commander of Greater Tehran Police Hossein Rahimi responded by saying that these were “coward accusations”. Iranian Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi rejected rumours that Amini had been beaten by police and stated that several female police officers had been in attendance at the time. He said that after her collapse Ms Amini was taken to the nearest hospital and treated by specialists according to due procedures. Despite these statements, mutinous street actions were already underway.
Anti “regime” protests
The political character of these street actions immediately became anti-government, employing clashes with police, and one burning of a police motorcycle. Dubious students at the University of Tehran held a protest where they reportedly chanted: “From Kurdistan to Tehran: the entire Iran covered in blood”. At some protests women burned their headscarves in a token protest against the rule on wearing a hijab. According to some organisations, Kurdish parties made the call for a general strike in the cities of the Kurdistan province on September 19 to protest Ms Amini’s death. Yet the pro-Western and pro-imperialist politics of such actions can be spotted from miles away. In Sanandaj, the capital of the Kurdish province, protestors chanted “Death to the Dictator” and hurled stones at portraits of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamanei and Qassem Soleimani and set fire to them. Qassem Soleimani is the former Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corp (IRGC) General who almost single-handedly directed the military and political defeat of ISIS and Al Qaeda in Syria.
Soleimani was assassinated by the US military in January 2020, in an act of gruesome retaliation for their defeat in Syria, and to prevent Soleimani from organising more Shia resistance across the region. The vast majority of Iran’s 80 million odd population revere General Soleimani as one who gave his life to defend his country against the scourge of US imperialism. That the protestors would stomp on his legacy and slur the Supreme Leader is a dead giveaway that these elements are encouraged, if not directed, by parts of the deep states of the West. If any evidence for this was needed, the US National Security Advisor to the White House Jake Sullivan provided it when he Tweeted that the death of Mahsa Amini was “unforgivable” and that the US would “continue to hold Iranian officials accountable for such human rights abuses”. Suffice to say, if your demonstrations are being endorsed by the highest levels of the security apparatus of the US Empire, they are being used for nefarious ends, regardless of the participants’ intentions.
“Women’s Rights” ??
There remains a question over exactly why Ms Amini collapsed. Unfortunately, the government of Iran implemented some nonsensical measures in response to the fraudulent “Covid pandemic” including mass vaccinations. Given the large numbers of “sudden” heart attacks and strokes occurring after the vast rollout of the potentially deadly mRNA Covid injections, and the fact that this seems to occur when the heart is being exercised or under stress, the possibility that Ms Amini is another victim of these dangerous injections cannot be ruled out. Nevertheless, the whole question of alleged Kurdish “repression” in Iran is constantly used by the West to foster and foment internal destablisation which they hope will lead to the overturn of the 1979 Iranian Revolution. Yet the actions of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in response to Ms Amini’s passing indicate that Kurds are anything but “repressed” in Iran. Raisi, supposedly a “hard-liner”, in fact ordered a special investigation into the incident. He also communicated to the family of Ms Amini that he considers all Iranian girls as his own children. He stated: “Your daughter is like my own daughter, and I feel that this incident happened to one of my loved ones. Please accept my condolences.”
Ayatollah Ali Khamanei was already well aware of Western interference in Iran while using the cover of the “rights of women”. On July 12 this year, certain “rights activists” urged women to remove their veils on Iran’s “National Day of Hijab and Chastity”. Ali Khamanei identified the media of the United States and Britain and other “mercenaries” as using the pretext of the hijab to allegedly stand for “women”. The enemies’ goal, he alleged, is to spread doubt among the people and shake their faith, which is the main factor in maintaining the country and the Islamic system. In a certain sense, the Ayatollah is describing what leftists should know and understand. While working people internationally are not in favour of Islamic dress codes for women, not to speak of Islamic based governments, this question is necessarily subordinated to the defence of Iran, and the defence of its 1979 revolution. It is this which US imperialism has never accepted and pulls out all stops in an effort to destroy.
The very notion that the West is concerned for women in Iran is laughable. It is the anti-imperialist role of Iran, and its willingness to defend itself by assisting other forces in the region, which the Pentagon seeks to reverse. The US recently ended a 20-year war and occupation of Afghanistan, which was also ludicrously “justified” in terms of defending “the rights of women”. One could argue that the US led invasion and occupation of Iraq from 2003 – in which over a million Iraqis died, many of them women – was in fact an attempt to set up a staging post from which to invade and/or overthrow Iran. Indeed, the Western led regime change war on Syria was arguably also aimed at Iran, by taking out one of its important regional allies. How many women were amongst the 500 000 Syrians slaughtered by the West and their governments in the most unspeakable ways, we may never know. Iran, at great risk to itself, continues to defy US and European imperialism, and foil their plans for domination.
Wanton violence for “democracy” ?
In a country which is one of the foremost targets of imperialism, protests which almost instantly become violent riots is usually an indicator of Western subversion. This is doubly the case if this includes assaults on public property. Western corporate media describes the Iranian Basij as a “pro-government paramilitary”, but it translates as the Organisation for the Mobilisation of the Oppressed. They are a volunteer force defending Iran’s anti-imperialist revolution. The Basij, amongst other things, have been putting out fires in waste bins after clearing up after the rioters. For this, one has reportedly been stabbed to death and another shot dead with a gun. Wanton violence employed by some of the rioters includes stoning police officers, along with dozens of attacks on ambulances. There are other reports of Basij personnel being killed in Tabriz, Mashhad and Qazvin, with an army officer killed by the rioters in Qochan.
Needless to say, the degenerate character of these ultra-reactionary rioters is exemplified above all by the arson attacks on ambulances, alongside the bloodthirsty slaughter of Basij, police and army officers. Such actions automatically rule out ANY supposed political aim of “freedom” and “democracy”, to say nothing of “women’s rights”. Unquestionably these elements are spurred on by the relentless intrigue of the imperialist powers, principally the deep states of the USA and the United Kingdom (UK), egged on by the Zionist Israeli state. There is a small minority within Iran who are willing to engage in depraved terrorism against the government, but the overwhelming majority of Iranians – despite all difficulties – defend their government and the anti-imperialist revolution of 1979, with or without its Islamic mould. For its part, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) issued a statement calling the protests “a conspiracy and an absurd attempt that is doomed to failure”. To underscore the formidable and broad scale of public support amongst Iranians for their revolution, hundreds of thousands have been mobilised across Iran in subsequent mass rallies, which condemned the desecration of Islam and acts of public vandalism by the rioters.
The protests in Iran ostensibly over “women’s rights” come at the exact time of the convening of the Samarkand summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). At this meeting, the Islamic Republic of Iran was accepted as a full member, after being an observer since 2005. The SCO, largely led by the People’s Republic of China (PRC), is one of the most important political and economic blocs whose very existence is undermining the previously US led unipolar world. The SCO now covers some 40% of the world’s population and around 30% of global GDP (gross domestic product). SCO member states basically border each other, which means they can avoid the US and the EU (European Union) in terms of transportation and trade of agricultural, energy and industrial raw materials. SCO member states can also thus benefit from the PRC’s trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), containing pipelines, highways and railways which drives mutually beneficial economic development.
In addition, no less than 10 countries are seeking to join the SCO, including US allies Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. No wonder the US and the EU sense they are being left behind! The rise of Eurasia as an economic and political alternative to the endless sanctions and confrontational paranoia of Washington and Brussels is a welcome advance for the working class in Iran, at a time where alternatives to Western driven economic malaise and the very real prospect of war looms. At the same time, total liberation from the scourge of war and economic underdevelopment is only possible through the victory of social revolutions which bring the working class to power, combined with a proletarian political revolution in the PRC – the world’s most powerful deformed workers’ state. This will combine not only regional co-operation, but economic integration on the basis of public ownership of the major means of production. Key to this path is the forging of internationally linked Leninist-Trotskyist vanguard parties which can bond the workers of Eurasia to their brothers and sisters in the West, to safeguard the world through the founding of a new socialist order.
 Ibid, 14.