Crises Bulletin: With the warmest greetings, and thanks for providing answers to questions raised by “Crises Bulletin”. Please introduce yourself.
Bahram Rahmani: Greetings to you too and thank you for all your efforts.
In fact, I initially started my political activities with Peykar organisation and when the Communist Party of Iran was formed, I resumed my activities with this party as a sympathiser of Kumala. At present time I am a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Iran.
Between 1999 and 2000 I was the editor of “Bamdad” publication and a co-writer of “Negah” publication. Prior to this, towards the end of the 90s I was also co-operating with the monthly publication of “Hambastegi”, the weekly magazine of “Iran Tribune” and “Kargare Emrooz”.
At present time I am a dedicated co-writer of bi-weekly publication of “Jahane Emrooz” and “Teribone Zan” publication.
I am a member of the Iranian Writers’ Association (In Exile), a member of the editorial panel of Iran Pen Association (In Exile) and a member of the Swedish Journalists Union.
I have also written 9 books and hundreds of articles about political and social issues which constitute other aspects of my cultural, political and social activities.
Crises Bulletin: The United Nations is still undecided whether or not it should impose serious sanctions against the Islamic Regime. In your opinion, if the economic sanctions gather pace and step into a serious phase, would it exacerbate the present economic crisis? Would the deepening of the economic crises, contribute to the downfall of the regime or not? How?
Bahram Rahmani: Before anything, here I must stress that while during a period the United Nations offered its platform to discuss and debate about keeping the peace between countries and to defend Human Rights, etc., but unfortunately now, and particularly since the downfall of the Soviet Union, and the subsequent emergence of Bush’s (Father) “New World Order” initiated by attacking Iraq in 1991, has blatantly become an executive instrument of the American government in order to exert pressure on its rivals, impose economic sanctions and spread wars.
In connection with the economic sanctions and the likelihood of a military attack on Iran, as far as the American and the Islamic governments are concerned, on the one hand apparently in order to maintain security in Iraq, they hold direct negotiations and on the other hand, every so often, Bush, the American President and Ahmadinejad, the Islamic Republic President hold rallies against one another. Meanwhile, the United Nations has merely issued its warnings by passing two resolutions against Iran and now it keeps dragging its feet on its third resolution.
Besides, we have had the experience of such sanctions in the past. Before these sanctions could be effective against Saddam Hussein and the Ba’ath government, they caused misery to the people and particularly affected the workers and the deprived sections of the society. Hence, one should seriously oppose the economical sanctions on Iran or any other country.
With regards to military attack or even the occupation of any country, again we are witnessing the bitter and heartbreaking realities in Iraq and Afghanistan. This war and its campaign, which was initiated by the United States and its allies and extensively fuelled by their lackeys in their media who endorsed and encouraged the attacks as “War against terror and dictatorship” and “Establishment of democracy and peace” and forced them down their peoples’ throats, have achieved nothing but destruction, death and annihilation of the Iraqi and Afghan societies’ infrastructures. The United States and its allies are merely after their own economical, political and military interests and to this extent have demonstrated their inhumane intensions by dropping atomic bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan, massacring the peoples of Vietnam, organising bloody coup d'états in Latin America, Turkey, Iran, etc… and now, by making use of their most devastating weapons against the Iraqis and the Afghans. Therefore, any economic sanctions or military attack on Iran would have a negative effect on the Iranian society and the progressive social movements and it would work against the overthrowing of the Islamic rule by means of a social movement. This would only result in destruction and death and would only pave the way for the creation of death squads between religious and nationalist forces and rivalry between the created states.
Incidentally, the Islamic regime’s widely spread propaganda over the nuclear energy issue, which certainly is amongst the aspirations of any ruling power, particularly dictatorial states, whose ambitions are to lay their hands on atomic weapons of mass destruction, is far from the reality. The Islamic regime’s or their rivals’ propaganda, ranging from the United States to Israel, at such massive and wide scales, and to spread this idea that the Islamic rulers are reaching the stage of production of nuclear energy or even perhaps they’re close to producing atomic weapons, are without any foundation and merely serves journalistic purposes. This is only to promote their rivalry or to win more concessions from each other. Basically, the Islamic rulers would give anything to acquire weapons of mass destruction, but the manufacturing of such weapons requires high levels of scientific and technological advancement, which is outside the scope of the Islamic regime’s capability.
Today, the Islamic rulers are faced with prevalent hatred and for this reason they have stepped up the suppression and the executions. Under present circumstances, it is the duty of all progressive and freedom seeking forces to oppose the production of any nuclear weapons by the Islamic Republic or any other country for that matter; whilst opposing any economic sanctions or military attack, and to insist on the toppling of the Islamic regime by means of a socialist revolution and without any foreign intervention, in order to clearly define their position against the right wing, nationalist and pro American tendencies. Nowadays, chanting the slogan for the overthrowing of the Islamic State does not define our position like how it used to in the past. Many “Dovome Khordad” movement’s advocates and forces supporting the American’s imperialistic policies, also support this slogan. Therefore, the overthrow of the Islamic regime must be set forth via the deprived, the working class and freedom-loving people’s stance.
Naturally, if the sanctions get into a more serious and purposeful phase, they would have an immediate effect upon the peoples’ means of providing their essentials. Low levels of wages and more than ten million people below the poverty line, which has no relationship with the rate of inflation and the high cost of living, would quickly cripple the people. These sanctions will not help the overthrow movement. On the one hand, under such circumstances, the regime could act more relentlessly to suppress the opposition groups and on the other, destitute people won’t have the ego for revolution and contention. Peoples’ struggle and revolution requires a degree of welfare and freedom.
When the Americans initiated their first attack on Iraq in 1991, this country was faced with severe sanctions. Every year hundreds of thousand children perished and lost their lives due to the lack of food, medicine, and hygiene. People became poorer, but the Ba’ath party government continued to remain in power until 2003, when the Americans and its allies invaded Iraq and brought it under their military occupation. Therefore, neither sanctions nor air attacks caused the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. Again, I doubt it very much that serious economic sanctions or even a military attack on sensitive targets in Iran would facilitate the overthrow of the Islamic Regime.
Crises Bulletin: Bearing in mind the banking affairs, dealings and the international trade and its relation with globalisation, could the regime find a way out of its present economical crisis?
Bahram Rahmani: Even at this point in time, despite having not to face serious economic sanctions, Iran is suffering from a backbreaking level of inflation and a high costs of living. Wages are extremely low and have no correlation with the cost of living, or the real rate of inflation in the country. In the meantime, Iran is heavily dependant on the West in order to provide much of its necessities, particularly in technology. Therefore, if the sanctions move up another gear against Iran, they will have a devastating effect on the people in a very short time and can cause worrying levels of dearth and poverty. Nevertheless, as far as the government is concerned, should it not face any protest or general strikes by the manufacturers, at least in the short term, this would not be causing any concern to change its course of direction.
Crises Bulletin: The Islamic Republic Regime plays a major role in the region to create convulsion and promote terrorism, particularly in Iraq. Would you agree that in order to rid itself of its internal crises and to minimise external pressures, they have attempted to export these crises? If this is so, where does the main contradiction lie; the occupation of Iraq by the coalition forces or, the influence of the Quds Corps and the regime’s elements within the different ranks of the Iraqi ruling power? Would the American withdrawal from Iraq benefit the people, or does the withdrawal of regime’s elements from Iraq take priority? In the absence of a popular and pro nation government in Iraq, wouldn’t the evacuation of coalition forces from Iraq exacerbate convulsion at this point in time?
Bahram Rahmani: The Islamic rule is a derivative of crises and therefore, deals with its affairs in crisis; to the point that even if there are no crises, they create artificial ones in order to deceive the people.
In the case of Iraq, the level of disaster is such that words can not simply describe them. Any analysis, which intends to help the fate of the Iraqi people, must be based on reality and offer a solution rather than suffice to slogans.
According to a report published by UNICEF, homeless children in Iraq, which exceeds one million, are enduring catastrophic conditions. In this report, safe drinking water amongst the Iraqi refugees has become an intricate issue such that, Najaf and Baghdad have been declared as the worst areas to contract diarrhea. So far, several million of the population have become refugees.
“Foreign Policy” Magazine reports that, four years after the occupation of Iraq, the cost of the war incurred by the Bush government, has increased by ten fold to $500b from the initial projection of $50b. In fact, the cost of the war in Iraq for the United States is estimated at $250,000 per minute.
On the other hand, according to Bob Woodruff, reporter from ABC News, who was injured in Iraq, reports that contrary to Pentagon’s official report of 21 thousand injured troops in Iraq, at least 80 thousand troops have been subject to the effects of blast wave and suffer from brain injury and its side effects.
At the moment, 157 thousand troops are based in Iraq. In addition to this, according to some reports, some tens of thousand of private “Contra” personnel are also fighting in Iraq.
The Pentagon also reported that since January this year, the average number of insurgencies per week, against the American and Iraqi forces as well as those against the civilians has exceeded one thousand. In this report, the average number of civilian fatalities per day exceeds one hundred which is the highest number since the military occupation.
According to reports published by OXFAM, eight million people bewildered in the civil war in Iraq desperately need food, medicine and shelter. The main victims in this violence are the children. Some reports show that one in three children suffer from malnutrition.
OXFAM and other aid charities and independent organisations have requested from the Iraqi government and other States to turn their attention to the Iraqi people; people who are fighting for their survival every day. The OXFAM report makes its criticisms about the 4 million people who are in need of food on regular bases. This report adds: “The current situation is harming the children the most”. Prior to the American invasion of Iraq, in 2003, only 19% of children suffered from malnutrition, where as today, this has increased to 28%.
The people of Iraq need food, drinking water, medicine, shelter, education and work. Since the beginning of the war, over 70% of the population of 26.5 million in this country have been deprived of hygienic drinking water. Before the American attack, this figure was 50%.
Approximately, 2 million Iraqis have become homeless within the borders of Iraq and another 2 million have taken refuge in neighbouring countries.
So far, it’s clear that America is trapped in the quicksand of Iraq. However, the people of this country are the real victims of the hostilities between America and the region’s nationalist terrorist and fundamentalist organisations. The infrastructure of the society has been annihilated and no one feels secure in this country. Under such circumstances, for the Iraqi people to redeem themselves from such disastrous conditions, at least in the short term, would be naive and merely a simplistic utopia. Whether the American forces leave Iraq or not, cruelty, horror and terror will continue in Iraq. In my opinion, a rational resolve would be, for instance, for the American and the British forces to evacuate Iraq and be replaced by the United Nations’ Peace Keeping forces. This process could in time facilitate the establishment of a relative level of security and lead to a condition for the people of this country to take their own future affairs directly into their own hands.
On the other hand, breaking up Iraq into three parts of Kurdish, Shiite, and Sunnie sections is one of Americans’ projects that previously have been proposed by the American Generals.
Crises Bulletin: Is the nuclear technology our undeniable right or not? Why? Had there been a popular government in power, would it have been right to oppose a nuclear Iran? Wouldn’t Iran benefit from nuclear power in the current puissance and hostility era? Should the regime acquire nuclear capability, would it be possible to overthrow such regime armed with nuclear weapons?
Bahram Rahmani: Nuclear technology, particularly in the hands of an Islamic terrorist and dictatorial state is not recognised as a legitimate right. The reason is that the Islamic regime does not intend to deploy the nuclear technology for any purpose other than developing weapons of mass destruction. Besides, Iran has a huge wealth of natural gas and fossil fuels that could prove to be a more economical and successful investment. More importantly, possession of nuclear arms is nobody’s right in the world and all nuclear arms must be destroyed, as these weapons can only destroy the humans and every other living species.
Had there been a legitimate state in power in Iran, it would have been a different matter; as such power would have focused its policies upon the welfare and prosperity of its society and for that matter, based upon the needs of its society would have acquired peaceful means of nuclear technology without any plans for the production of nuclear weapons. One mustn’t side with the Islamic rulers and their repressive elements by chanting their slogan of: “Nuclear technology is our legitimate right”.
Basically, today’s world is in the hands of a repressive, oppressive and exploiting minority class of the bourgeoisie. Atomic weapons are also in the hands of capitalist states in order to promote themselves in their rivalry against one another and to deploy these weapons against the people should the need for them ever arise. Hence, the multilateral destruction of all weapons of mass destruction and the global nuclear weapons’ disarmament must become a social slogan. Even the western societies have become concerned following the Chernobyl Atomic power station disaster in the former Soviet Union, and are now planning to close down their atomic power stations. These power stations are extremely costly and at the same time dangerous.
The downfall of the Islamic regime, whether or not armed with Atomic weapons, depends on the social forces and ahead of them, the united, organised and objective struggle and movement of the working class. If this movement begins, no other force can stand in its way. Atomic weapons can only play a part in the rivalry manoeuvres of the bourgeoisie and their ruling governments. Therefore, Atomic weapons cannot prevent revolutions and the downfall of any state. For instance, the downfall of the Soviet Union which was armed with all kinds of weapons of mass destruction, and boasted to possess one of the strongest and most skilful armies in the world, could not be prevented.
The Islamic rulers are doomed for perdition because the Iranian people detest this regime and all of its factions. Atrocities of the Islamic regime such as the arrests, torture, and the executions of the workers movements’ activists, women’s movement campaigners, students movement protesters, Kurdish revolutionary movement and other movements belonging to the oppressed peoples of Iran, threats and the imprisonment of journalists and writers and escalating the levels of censorship and media suppression, not only do not demonstrate the strength of this regime, but they all reveal its weakness, inability and the fear of its leaders. Sooner or later these rightful, just and freedom seeking campaigns will be joined and mobilised as a massive united class movement to demolish the rule of darkness, terror and adversity in order to establish freedom, equality, justice, welfare and contentment. Therefore, the best way to move forward in order to rid ourselves from the atrocities and the exploitation of the Islamic regime will be to unite, organise and strengthen the social movements rather than looking forward to the policies of the United States and it allies.
Crises Bulletin: Thank you. We shall continue with this discussion in our next issue.
Our readers could post their questions via bulletin’s e-mail address.
Bahram Rahmani: I thank you too.