Extract from interview with Hamid Taqvaie, Leader of WPI about the Dec. 27, 2009 events in Iran
It is obvious that the revolution in Iran has entered a turning point. It seems that it has become more determined and energetic than ever before, what do you say about the events of December 27th., when hundreds of thousands of people, probably millions, got to the streets. How do you think this is evolving?
Hamid Taqvaie: First of all I think that what happened on Dec. 27 is a turning point. I think it is a start of a new phase. We witness the aggressive and radical actions of people against all police, Basiji, and different armed forces that have been attacking people for 6 months now. I think what happened that day shows that people have decided not only to continue their struggles in a defensive mode, but to be offensive and attack those forces in the streets. Many video clips that came from inside Iran show that people arrested some of the Basiji or attacked their vehicles and set fire to them. They also freed many of the people who were previously arrested during the day. Also we see that the members of those armed forces are crying and begging people for mercy. People have grabbed the batons from the Basijis’ hands and used them against them and other similar acts. So, the demonstrations were not only as massive and broad as they were back in the early days, but the fact that make those demonstrations unique and thus form a turning point in the path of the revolution is that people have started to attack the armed forces. In any revolution this marks a very important change. The people who are marching the streets have gone into the mode of barricading the streets and setting fire to the armed forces’ vehicles, disarming them, using their weapons against them and so on; all of this shows that we are entering in a completely new phase of the revolution.
The WPI says this is a revolution and has been since its inception and probably earlier and that it is heading toward toppling the Islamic Republic. The West is talking timidly about “some change” underway. The Islamic regime itself started to attack the opposition, i.e. Moosavi and Karruby and the news talks about threats of executing them. What is your take on those different positions?
Hamid Taqvaie: We have said from the very start that this revolution is targeting the whole system. It was obvious from the very start of the movement. Anybody who followed the political situation in Iran in the last 5-6 years knows the result of 30 years of suppression; killing, arrests, torture, and all sorts of atrocities the regime has committed against the people of Iran. We knew that the elections and the conflict between Moosavi and Ahmadinedjad was a pretext to take advantage of in order for the people to forward their own demands, their own slogans, their own political goals against the whole system. In the beginning it was not as clear, but now, everyone knows this fact, even among some of the supporters of Moosavi. They say that they have no control on people anymore and that people have other agendas. They have said it many times. The Western media and governments, especially after the events of Dec. 27, talk about a movement going beyond reform, and that people now demand radical changes, and that Moosavi is not controlling that movement, thus, the movement has no leader. Many columnists say that the Islamic regime is dead and we must think of the era after its burial. Some of them have started to criticize the Obama administration for not looking ahead and seeing a post-Islamic Republic era. Those are the main positions towards what is happening in Iran. The 27 of December showed everyone that the revolution cannot be stopped anymore. A BBC reporter in Iran described the revolution as “a fast, unstoppable train without brakes, and no driver!” To a certain extent I think he is right. The revolution looks unstoppable and it is like a train with no driver, i.e. no leader. This shows that this movement will go on until the Islamic Republic is overthrown. It seems that everyone has come to this conclusion now. The Islamic Republic is going to be overthrown.
After Dec 27th uprising, the party issued a declaration in which the slogan “Human Republic” is used among other slogans. Can you elaborate what this slogan means?
Hamid Taqvaie : From the start, we have raised “Human Revolution for a Human Rule”. That was one of our earliest slogans. In the 7th Congress of our party about a month ago, we passed a resolution in which human republic became an official slogan of the party. The reason for that is that we want to show that our socialist republic means human society, not only a civil society, but goes beyond that, as Marx indicated in his own writings that we must go beyond civil society toward human society or as he coined it “Social Humanity”. We have just interpreted that principle of Marxism as a political slogan. We fight for a socialist republic. The name of our state is the Socialist Republic but the point we wanted to make in those slogans is that our socialism is humanism, and that our humanism is socialism. In other words, the true practical humanism can only be socialism and through nothing else. Socialism and humanism are one and the same. We want everybody to identify the defence of human being and humanism with socialism not with human rights as the bourgeoisie claims. The latter is an empty slogan, and has no practical or political meaning. For the bourgeoisie it (human rights) is a phoney slogan. But for us it makes sense, it is true, it is real. There is a real and strong connection between humanism and socialism. It has been a long time since we declared that humanism is the base of our socialism. Today we go forward and extend that principle to a political or street slogan. That was what our last congress had approved.
In the light of the heightening of the revolution, what is your message to the people the Middle East and the world at large?
Hamid Taqvaie : As far as the people of the Middle East and the world are concerned, we ask for total support. This means an active support of the revolution, which means fighting against the Islamic Republic in other countries, especially the West and to pressure every government to isolate the Islamic Republic and not recognize it as a legitimate government because it is not. We also demand for those figures of the Islamic regime in Iran to be prosecuted for their crimes against humanity and against the people of Iran. So we would like the people whether in the Middle East or all over the world firstly to support the people of Iran actively, and secondly to aggressively be against the Islamic republic, put all sorts of pressure on western governments or international organizations to politically boycott the Islamic Republic and cut all relations with it and demand the prosecution of the authorities and figures of the Islamic Republic for their crimes against humanity. Those are our demands from the people around the world.
Extracts from Toward Socialism the Arabic fortnightly paper of the Left Worker-communist Party of Iraq – LWPI.