Iran

Pitfalls of knee-jerk “blame Israel”

Morad Shirin (Solidarity 511) has casually speculated that Israel (or, perhaps, another regional power allied to the USA, but no other state is thought worthy of mention) is probably responsible for the attacks on the Norwegian and Japanese oil tankers.

No evidence is offered, but rather a Galloway-style deduction based on which state would benefit from the most obvious suspect being punished. It isn’t often, thankfully, that this type of argument is promoted in the pages of Solidarity.

Behind the US-Iran tension

Author

Morad Shirin

Clearly the attacks on Norwegian and Japanese tankers off the Gulf of Oman on Thursday 14 June increase the risk of a miscalculation leading to military clashes in the region. However, these attacks were probably not carried out by any of the Iranian regime’s armed forces, not even the Pasdaran or a section of the Pasdaran (though that can’t be completely ruled out).

US and Iran in stand-off

Author

Morad Shirin

The US is applying pressure to get the Iranian regime to give more concessions.

As long as something doesn’t go wrong, that is precisely what will happen: the regime will give ground after making a show of being defiant. Things are more complicated than before because the US has people like John Bolton, the National Security Adviser, in charge of this policy.

May Day arrests in Iran

Following a call by four independent labour organisations, Trade Union of the Tehran and Suburbs Vahed Bus Company, Haft Tappeh Sugar Cane Workers’ Union, Coordination Committee for Establishing Labour Organisations and the Retirement Alliance, workers, teachers, students and pensioners demonstrated outside the Iranian regime’s "parliament" on May Day.

The regime’s response was to arrest a large number of demonstrators.

Muslim women, the veil and the Christchurch massacre

Author

Marieme Helie Lucas

Marieme Helie Lucas, an Algerian socialist feminist, has written this open letter: to people of good will, solidarising with victims of the Christchurch massacre; to the New Zealand Prime Minister; and to the management of Mount Royal University, Calgary, Canada.

Iran: free jailed worker activists!

Esmail Bakhshi, a leader of the workers at the big Haft Tappeh Sugar Cane complex in south west Iran, has been in jail since 20 January.

His family says he is ill and not getting medical care. They fear for his life.

Sepideh Gholian, an activist and journalist who supported the sugar cane workers in a long-running series of strikes demanding unpaid wages and workers’ control over the enterprise, has also been jailed since 20 January.

The Satanic Verses thirty years on

Author

Matthew Thompson

It is thirty years since the publication of Salman Rushdie's novel The Satanic Verses, partly based on the life of the founder of Islam, Muhammad, sparked protests across the Muslim world, with riots in India and Pakistan in which dozens of Rushdie's fellow Muslims were shot dead, book burnings on the streets of Britain, and ultimately an Iranian death sentence which sent its author into hiding under armed police guard.

7,000 jailed in Iran

Author

Colin Foster

Esmail Bakhshi and Sepideh Gholian, are still in Iran’s jails but Ali Nejati has been allowed into hospital. Bakhshi is a leader of the Haft Tappeh sugar¬cane workers, in south¬west Iran; Nejati, a former leader of those sugar¬cane workers; Gholian, a social activist and supporter of the workers. All three are known to have been tortured in jail, and their jailing is part of a response by the Iranian government to action by the sugar¬cane workers, and by steelworkers in nearby Ahvaz, which has seen dozens jailed and then released since late last year.

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