"Tudeh's Policy Is a Betrayal of the Working Class"

by
published in MER98

Fereidun Keshavarz was elected to the Tudeh politburo at the Party’s first congress in 1942. He was elected to the Iranian parliament in 1944 and in 1946 served as minister of in the short-lived government of Prime Minister Qavam. In 1958 he resigned from the Tudeh politburo and central committee. He met with Fred Halliday in Geneva on March 14, 1980 for this interview.

How do you evaluate the strength of the Tudeh Party in the 1940s, and how do you account for its popularity at that time?

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Government's Nabavi on Inflation and Labor Unrest

published in MER98

Edited text of Tehran Radio interview with Behzad Nabavi, minister of state for executive affairs and chief government spokesman, February 23, 1981:

What practical steps has the government taken to combat inflation?

What you mean in fact is the high cost of living. Incidentally, we have been following this very issue closely in the economic mobilization headquarters for a week now. We have discovered its roots and causes and we are trying to eliminate them.

Khomeini Workers' Day Message

published in MER98

Text of message by Ayatollah Khomeini on the occasion of Workers’ Day, May 1, 1981, as read by announcer on Tehran Radio:

In the name of God, the compassionate, the merciful. Blessed be Workers Day for the ranks of the valuable workers, for the nation in general and for the oppressed the world over, lt is a national, Islamic and universal duty to mark Workers Day, this backbone of the country’s independence, this [word indistinct] that determines destiny and promotes liberation from dependence and affiliations.

Mojahed: "At the Beginning of the Third Year"

published in MER98

Edited text of lead article in Mojahed (February 12, 1981), the organ of the Mojahedin-e Khalq:

Having celebrated the second anniversary of the revolution, we are at the brink of the third year. The anniversary of the revolution and the days of Bahman remind us of...the days of great victories and finally the days of the magnificent armed uprising of the masses and the eventual overthrow of the mercenary and puppet regime of the Shah and the shameful and sinister system of monarchy.... But looking back to the events and changes of the past two years, present conditions bring a feeling of pity and show how great hopes have widely turned into hopelessness....

Exonerating US Policy

The Myth of "Good Intentions"

by Fred Halliday
published in MER98

Barry Rubin, Paved with Good Intentions: The American Experience in Iran (New York: Oxford University Press, 1980).

"The Clergy Have Confiscated the Revolution"

by
published in MER98

Abdulrahman Qassemlu is secretary-general of the Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP) in Iran. He is the author of Kurdistan and the Kurds (7965) and Problems of Economic Growth in the Developing Countries (1969). From 1960 to 1975 he taught at the Ecole Superieure d’Economie in Prague. He met with Fred Halliday in Europe in February 1981 for this interview.

The Islamic authorities now ruling Iran insist that they, and they alone, made the revolution which overthrew the Shah. What role, in your view, did the Kurdish people of Iran play in the revolution of 1978-1979?

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Economic Sanctions and Iranian Trade

by Philip Shehadi
published in MER98

Former President Jimmy Carter’s announcement of economic sanctions against Iran on April 7, 1980 aroused little enthusiasm except in Tehran, where crowds roared their approval of a formal break in ties with the “great Satan.” At home, hadn’t the freeze of Iranian assets, the longshoremen’s refusal to load Iran-bound goods, and the November ban on Iranian oil imports already reduced trade between the two countries to a trickle? In Europe, foreign ministers meeting in Lisbon on April 10 declined to heed Carter’s call. The Europeans, and the Japanese, had a stake in maintaining economic ties to the new regime. Western Europe as a whole was importing 650,000 barrels of Iranian oil a day.

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Iran's Economy

Between Crisis and Collapse

by Patrick Clawson
published in MER98

Workers, bazaar merchants and artisans, farmers, salaried officials and professionals -- all expected that the departure of the Shah would mean better economic conditions for themselves and the Iranian people. At the very least, funds that had been diverted into corruption or used to purchase expensive and extravagant weapons systems and showcase projects would be made available to meet real needs. As things now stand, the government of the Islamic Republic faces considerable popular dissatisfaction because these expectations have not been fulfilled, and the standard of living of many Iranians has, in fact, fallen since the revolution.

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"Signs of Civil War"

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published in MER98

Shirin Tehrani is an independent Iranian socialist who has lived most of the post-revolutionary period inside Iran and spoke with Fred Halliday in Europe in late April 1981.

There has been much attention here on the dispute within the regime between the faction around President Bani-Sadr, and that around Prime Minister Raja’i and the Islamic Republican Party (IRP). lt is very difficult to gauge the course of this contest from the outside. How has it developed in recent months?

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The War and the Struggle for the State

by Eric Rouleau
published in MER98

“Was it not your KGB which indirectly passed on to us the secret plan for the Iraqi offensive?” President Bani-Sadr’s point-blank question clearly embarrassed the Soviet ambassador. Vladimir Vinogradov lapsed into an embarrassed silence but his face was lit by a smile which was as broad as it was enigmatic. The Iranian head of state had pointed out that the invasion of the Islamic Republic, which had begun more than 36 hours before his conversation with the diplomat, followed a scenario described in detail in a report given to him weeks previously. Who but the Kremlin, he wondered, could have access to the plans of Baghdad’s general staff?