Iran & WMD

Imperialism has exponentially increased its pressure on Iran in recent weeks. Led by the U.S., the UN Security Council is discussing the prospect of economic sanctions to punish it for its insistence on continuing to develop its nuclear program (though given China and Russia’s opposition and accompanying veto power, sanctions are far from certain). Faced with the threat of sanctions and possibly even military action, the Iranian regime remains defiant, insisting on the “peaceful” nature of its nuclear program. This assertion is rather doubtful, however, given the lesson that Iran has drawn from the war next door in Iraq.      

The lesson is that the possession of these types of weapons acts as a deterrent, not the inverse. Though the existence of WMDs was the “reasoning” behind invading Iraq, it is now clear that no such weapons existed. Iran has reached the conclusion that “if you do not have weapons, you will be attacked”. The Iranians therefore seek to develop nuclear technology in order to prevent themselves from becoming the next target of imperialism.
         
The current confrontation has served to strengthen the Iranian regime to some degree. Focusing the masses’ attention on the threat of American and Israeli imperialism provides a convenient distraction from the growing domestic problems in Iran. With a stagnant economy, chronic unemployment, and denial of the most basic of civil and labor rights, the regime is in a rather tenuous situation. The regime is stirring up nationalism in an attempt to divert attention away from these glaring contradictions. However, this tactic of distraction cannot stave off revolution indefinitely. Already, several important strikes have taken place in recent months.
         
We stand with the Iranian working class in defending Iran from imperialist intervention.  We condemn Washington’s bullying of Iran. But it is important to understand that the regime is in no way “revolutionary” or “progressive”. A regime that regularly arrests and executes those campaigning for fundamental trade union and civil rights is not “revolutionary” in any sense of the word.  Given the growing opposition amongst Iran’s largely young population, it seems they are drawing the same conclusion. And, if the history of the Iranian working class is any indication, they are more than capable of shaking the regime to its foundations.


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