The outbreak of COVID-19 in Iran has increased the importance of ending US sanctions against Iran. Always improper, these sanctions have become an immediate death sentence for many in Iran, a crime against humanity by the US, no matter what you think of the Islamic Republic of Iran. This interview by Change Links is with an anti-imperialist Iranian-American, Mic Madani, an opponent of both the Shah/monarchists and Khomeini/mullahs.
1) What was the state of popular struggle in Iran before Trump’s recent attack?
The people of Iran for almost 40 years have been fighting against the brutal and fascist regime of the bourgeois capitalist religious system in Iran, and before that against the Shah.
2) How did Trump’s attack change the dynamic with Iran?
Whatever the US and European imperialists powers did against Iran, such as economic sanctions, the government of Iran then put more pressure on the Iranian people’s movement, and made more arrests and jailing of the progressive and left movement activists.
3) How did the popular movements respond?
Anytime there is a change of tactics by the fascist government of Iran, of course the progressive movements have to find new tactics against the brutal regime’s military forces to regain momentum.
4) What has the impact of the recent Coronavirus infections and deaths been?
Since this outbreak the people’s connections and gatherings have been difficult, especially since the regime has had total control on the social media, radio and TV, as well as the newspapers all over the country. So the people’s progressive movement has a hard time to organize and hold open nonviolent demonstrations in the streets of Iran.
5) How can forces in the US oppose the US government’s attacks against Iran while also supporting and learning about popular resistance movements within the country?
The bourgeois liberals and conservatives in the US government have the same programs to attack Iran. Thus the progressive and peace loving people in the US, could learn from connecting to the Iranian people in the US who support the people’s resistance within Iran. Support the Iranian people’s movements in any way you can, including humanitarian assistance due to the economic sanctions.
6) In what ways does this parallel efforts by the Iranian Left to oppose US Imperialists attacks while also maintaining resistance against operation and repression within the Islamic Republic?
Because there is not any strong political parties in Iran to lead the people’s resistance against the fascist Islamic Regime and the US and other European Imperialists powers therefore, Iranian progressive and left movements have a lot of work to do in order to create a People’s Party which will be able to direct the Revolution in Iran. Resistance has been mainly spontaneous
7) What else should US readers and activists be aware of about the situation in Iran, the US government’s role, and the popular movements?
As we all know the situation in Iran is connected to the problems in many other countries of the world. I think the people’s movements in Iran should be connected to the international movements around the globe. When we observe the history of the world revolutions such as the Russian Socialist Revolution of October 1917, we learned that the only way Iranian People’s Revolution could be successful is when/ if they will connect to other progressive movements in the World. The COVID-19 pandemic shows us how interconnected the whole world is.
Mic Madani is a long-time Iranian-American anti-imperialist, who began his activism as an Iranian student in the US opposing the Shah, Savak, and the US CIA, and has been active ever since, including as a labor organizer among taxi drivers in Los Angeles.