Dear Tudeh Comrades,
Today we are at a critical stage in the history of our homeland and our Party. On the one hand, imperialism, especially U.S. imperialism, has targeted the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our homeland by imposing devastating economic sanctions on the working people of Iran and by threatening to stage a military attack on our country.
On the other hand, inside the country, the peoples of Iran are enduring despotic rule and political repression and all manners of violation of their constitutional rights at the hands of the ruling clique, on a daily basis. The peoplesÂ political and social leaders, especially labor leaders and the leaders of the Green Movement, are either under house arrest or are spending time in the dungeons of the current rulers of the country.
It was due to the specter of such a disaster that, once again, the people of Iran consciously utilized the limited opportunity made available to them to enter the political scene, not only putting their mark on the recent presidential elections but also changing the whole political atmosphere of the country. The ruling circles of the Islamic Republic lost their grip on the situation, both as a result of the external threats and sanctions, and as a result of the broadening domestic protest movement. They were forced into a tactical retreat and accepted the change imposed by the people.
But one must be aware that their retreat may well be a tactical and temporary one. As we have seen in the past, conquering the seat of the presidency, in spite of its historical importance, by no means represents, and has never represented, a change in the structure of power in Iran. The victorious coalition in the recent presidential election constitutes a broad spectrum of forces, which, in the context of the present power structure, can be pushed in any direction.
As a result, this victory is only the beginning of a complicated and winding road that requires from the peopleÂs activists the maximum amount of awareness, preparedness and constant presence in the field of struggle. In such a situation, there is not much time left for the Tudeh activists to enter the political scene and have their impact on the current critical and complicated process of people’s struggle.
It is unfortunate that, in such a critical situation, especially when it comes to the heroic struggles of our people, there is no sign of our Party in this struggle. Yes, our Party attends international meetings and signs resolutions. Yes, our Party issues statements and condemns repression and the reactionary policies of the government. Yes, our Party chants anti-imperialist slogans. But, as many comrades inside and outside the country have stated, our Party has no significant impact on the struggles of our countryÂs working people.
Shouldn’t we, as Tudehis, ask ourselves why this is the case and how is it that the historically significant role of our Party has faded away?
In our view, the main determining factor in the present crisis of our Party and its diminishing historical role can be found in the actions of the whole party leadership during the past 30 years, irrespective of each individual leaderÂs constructive or non-constructive, effective or ineffective, role at various historical stages. Criticism of the whole leadership of the Party during the past 30 years, regardless of its ebbs and flows, can be summarized as the following:
Â Rejection of the principled policies and Program of Tudeh Party of Iran during the 1979 Â 1982 period;
Â Lack of correct understanding of the situation in Iran at various stages, and adoption of a principally reactive approach to events, including raising the slogan of the overthrow of the Islamic Republic in 1985, which is still being followed implicitly; inaccurate predictions about the conditions prior to the end of Iraq war; and inaccurate and contradictory approach to presidential elections during the past 16 years; all of which demonstrate a lack of solid theoretical and ideological approach to the developments in or country;
Â Detaching itself from the surviving members and supporters of the Tudeh Party of Iran who had escaped massacres committed by the Islamic Republic, and even raising doubts and suspicions about them;
Â Open violation of the principles of Party democracy and replacing them with individual relations;
Â Adoption of a policy of exclusion rather than inclusion toward members and supporters of the Party;
ÂAbandonment of the principle of criticism and self-criticism at the level of leadership and, subsequently, adoption of an undemocratic organizational approach to political differences among the Party members; and, adoption of the destructive method of purging the critics from the ranks of the Party and its leadership;
Â Replacement of collective decision making in the Party with individual decisions in the name of the Party;
Â Failure in educational responsibilities, especially in ideological education, and disregard of cadre training in the Party;
Â Controversial promotion of the doubters in the validity of Marxism-Leninism to leadership positions of the Party;
Â Deviation from the historical ideological and revolutionary line of the Party, in spite of the
resolute defense of these principles by the Party members, as expressed in the documents adopted by the Third Congress of the Party;
Â Promoting all kinds of doubts and suspicions about the past Party leadership during the first decade of the Revolution, and even slandering them in certain cases;
Â Imposition of an atmosphere of intimidation and security concerns about the Tudeh Party members abroad and outside the Party organization abroad; and
Â As a result of all this, removing the Party from the daily struggles inside the country and limiting the Party to the issuance of general and vague statements.
Sadly, we could add many other criticisms to this list. But this will suffice to provide an adequate picture of the critical violations of the whole Party leadership, the unavoidable consequence of which has been a crisis within the Party and pushing the Tudeh activists into an atmosphere of passivity, disillusionment and negativism. Such actions, especially in the present conditions, have caused serious damage to the PartyÂs influential role and its effective participation in the heroic struggles of the people of our country.
We consider ourselves Tudehis and our main goal is putting an end to the present divisions among Tudeh Party supporters and preventing further deepening of the PartyÂs present crisis; a crisis that no one has done anything about it to the present. This goal is the same goal that is being pursued by many Tudehis. The objective is to gather all Tudeh activists under the heroic banner of the Tudeh Party of Iran, the Party of the Iranian working class.
In our view, and considering the critical situation of our country, today, more than ever in our PartyÂs history, there is a need for the unity of all Tudehis, revival of the Marxist-Leninist worldview, inclusion of the class and anti-imperialist perspective in the Party’s analyses and political line, and effective intervention of the Tudeh Party of Iran in the daily struggles of the people of our country. But responding to this urgent historical need requires the principled and free consultation among all militant Tudehis who have always defended the people and the working class of Iran.
It is based on this sense of historical urgency that the Mehr resumes its activities in a new phase, this time in the name of the ÂWebsite of the Supporters of the Tudeh Party of Iran,Â relying on the support and cooperation of all Tudehis in carrying out its present and historical tasks.
With these goals in mind, we find it necessary to emphasize the following points:
1. Some of the organizers of Mehr have been carrying out their Party responsibilities in their struggle to overcome the negative effects of the collapse of the Soviet Union and the attack by the government of the Islamic Republic on the PartyÂs life during the decades of 1990s and 2000s, first from within the ranks of the official organization of the Tudeh Party of Iran until 1997, relying on the principle of criticism and self-criticism to help correct the PartyÂs
line; and then, through the publication of Akhgar newspaper and the establishment of Mehr website up to the present.
2. We now resume our unfinished task in cooperation with other Tudeh comrades, this time with heavier responsibilities and stronger belief in the correctness of our path.
3. We strongly believe in the correctness of the PartyÂs line and struggles, both throughout the decades prior to the 1979 Revolution and during the period of 1979-1983. In our view, the events of the past three decades have proven beyond any doubt the correctness of the Marxist-Leninist ideology of the Tudeh Party of Iran and the accuracy of the PartyÂs program during those years.
On this basis, we find the actions of the PartyÂs new leadership since 1983 worthy of severe criticism. We shall make constructive use of the principle of criticism and self-criticism to explain these shortcomings. In doing so, we recognize the right of all of our comrades to participate in this process. Mehr is the website of the supporters of the Tudeh Party of Iran, not that of its enemies.
4. We consider it the right of every Tudeh activist to be informed of what has happened to the Party since the collapse of the Soviet Union. We shall try to describe this history in an honest way and are prepared to deal with any response, denial and objection, and respond to them truthfully.
5. But this will not cover all aspects of our activity. We shall try to provide analyses of the current situation in Iran from a Marxist-Leninist point of view; evaluate the past experiences of the struggle; analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the present movement in our country; and present constructive suggestions for the advancement of the struggles of the working people of Iran. In short, we shall use all means at our disposal to fill the vacuum left by the absence of the Party from the political struggles within the country.
6. We shall use the ÂViews and OpinionsÂ section of the Mehr website as a vehicle for facilitating discussion among all Tudeh activists who believe in the revolutionary identity and history of the Tudeh Party of Iran. Our goal in this effort is to help bring together the scattered supporters of the Party on the basis of a shared political and ideological view; facilitate the convergence of various tendencies among militant Tudeh activists; and strengthen the process of unity among all Tudeh Party supporters.
7. We do not consider any of these activities a confrontation with the official Party organization; nor are we attributing to ourselves any ÂleadershipÂ role, or ÂorganizationalÂ responsibilities. We consider ourselves Tudehis and will remain Tudehis. This effort, for us, is nothing but the application of the principle of criticism and self-criticism to the serious weaknesses of the Party at present, for the correction of which history has left us with not much time.
8. We openly declare that, with all due respect for all dedicated Tudeh activists, we have no political or organizational connection with the other known tendencies related to the Tudeh
Party of Iran or various groups outside the Party, and that our activities are totally independent of all these tendencies.
9. We consider the destiny of the Party itself much more important than its internal divisions. For this reason, we shall utilize all our ability to secure the unity of the Party as the Party of the Iranian working class, and to facilitate its transformation into a unified and effective Marxist-Leninist force in the struggles of the Iranian working class.
10. We are fully aware that in this process, we will be faced with anger and even undeserved insults and slanders. But, in our view, the time has come for us to pay such a price in defense of the revolutionary essence of the Tudeh Party of Iran. At the same time, in line with our deeply held beliefs, we shall not respond to accusations with counter-accusations; to slanders with counter-slanders; and to insults with counter-insults. We limit our mission to revealing the facts and leaving the final judgment to our Tudeh comrades and other popular fighters of our homeland.
We are confident that our heroic Party, the Tudeh Party of Iran, with the accumulated experience of seven decades of revolutionary struggle, and by relying on the collective wisdom and actions of all Tudeh activists who are dedicated to its revolutionary ideology and political line, shall overcome its present problems and will be able to play its proper historical role in the revolutionary struggles of the people of Iran.
We sincerely invite all Party supporters to work with Mehr, Website of the Supporters of the Tudeh Party of Iran. We warmly shake the hands of all of our comrades.
Long Live the Tudeh Party of Iran, the Party of the Iranian working class!
The Editorial Board of Mehr
August 2, 2013