Support the workers’ movement in Iran!

Submitted by AWL on 9 December, 2007 - 12:10

Statement by the International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran

The recent extended wave of oppression against the well-known activists of workers' organisations in Iran and other social movements is not a new incident but a routine practice of the Islamic Republic of Iran. This wave of repression nevertheless exhibits particular characteristics, including the radicalisation and development of class-based labour protests, advancing social movements within the specific socio-economic context and pressures from both within the country and internationally.

These conditions have jeopardized the entirety of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Social and economic crises are rapidly escalating. It is a proven fact that the promises of the capitalist regime of Iran are false and that this regime has brought nothing but the continuous oppression of working people. This regime has caused ever-increasing poverty and misery for the working class.

In an international context, the threat of military action and the economic sanctions imposed by the warmongering, US-led capitalist states pose a serious threat to the people of Iran, especially the poor and the deprived masses. At the same time, these threats have been used by the Islamic Republic to severely suppress and silent the workers' movement and all other social struggles.

The Islamic Republic uses the existing crisis against the people of Iran to its advantage. It deceitfully acts as if the pressures from the imperialist countries are the cause of protests inside Iran, and attempts to depict the protesters as the agents of "foreigners". That is why false accusations such as "acting against national security" have been declared against activists and detainees throughout the last few months.

The capitalist regime of the Islamic Republic of Iran combines fear mongering and intimidation with arrests and imprisonment to crush all the collective struggles for independent organisations of workers, women, students, teachers, writers and oppressed ethnic communities, as well as the struggles of other social and legal rights' advocates. The regime is determined to stop the development of grassroots organisations and to impose on the Iranian people a feeling of hopelessness.

Given such a context, we, the activists of the Iranian workers' movement abroad, wish not only to expose the inhuman and reactionary nature of the Islamic Republic of Iran, but also to strongly condemn any war, militarist policy or economic sanctions imposed by the capitalist states of the world, which would have catastrophic consequences for the workers and the disadvantaged people of Iran.

We further emphasize that the claims made by the capitalist and the imperialist states that they intend to support progressive movements such as the Iranian labour movement are totally false and that we will strive to expose their true intentions.

We condemn the assassination of Majid Hamidi. We condemn the arrest of the labour activists of the Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane Company and all charges against them, as well as the arrests of Sanandaj workers and all other incarcerated students, women, teachers, writers and ethnic minorities. We demand the unconditional release of Mahmoud Salehi, Mansour Osanloo, Ebrahim Madadi and the immediate release of the incarcerated workers of the Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane Company.

We demand annulment of all jail time and the lash sentences against workers in Kurdistan and an end to the harassment and legal persecution of workers' activists. We call for equal rights for all migrant workers in Iran, including workers from Afghanistan. We believe refugee workers should be legally accepted in all countries.

We believe that solidarity with the imprisoned workers and the struggle to free all political prisoners who are jailed because they have been striving towards workers' liberation is an ongoing responsibility of all genuine defenders of progressive social movements around the world.

We encourage all labour and trade union activists as we all as all labour, socialist and progressive organisations and parties around the world to participate actively in solidarity with the Iranian workers' movement, especially with the workers behind bars.

• www.workers-iran.org

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