Iran crisis: Which side are you on?

The war crisis that the gang in Trump’s White House has unleashed in the Strait of Hormuz has many facets and complications worth analyzing. 

It is a conflict within the U.S. ruling class, even within the administration. It involves disagreements among the usual imperialist U.S. allies who fear the consequences if war breaks out. There are disagreements within the Pentagon about where the U.S. drone was located when Iranian anti-aircraft fire shot it down. An internal conflict between the U.S. president who wants to rule the world and the president who wants to win the 2020 election.

Besides examining these points, however, the most important thing to decide is which side you are on.

For revolutionaries who aim toward establishing socialism, for anti-imperialists, this decision is clear. 

Iran was in effect a colony of the U.S. and its oil companies from 1953 until 1979, when it won its real independence through a revolution. It is attempting to defend that independence. 

The United States is the most powerful imperialist state and oppressor of the world’s peoples. 

Revolutionaries must be on the side of an independent Iran against the United States.

If workers strike against the boss, we are on the side of the workers. If the strikers have to fight with scabs, we don’t ask who started the fight. We side with the workers.

If an African-American oppressed community is in conflict with the occupation police force, we don’t ask who struck the first blow — it’s almost always the cops — we side with the community.

If a former colony is defending its independence against an imperialist power, we side with the country fighting for independence. Defeat the oppressor. Defend the oppressed.

In the modern imperialist era, Iran was a semicolony first of the British Empire and then of the United States. U.S. agents overthrew an elected Iranian government in 1953 and installed an emperor, the Shah, who ruled through jailings and torture for 26 years. 

The 1979 revolution put in place a nationalist government with theocratic content. Since then, this regime has been independent of imperialist domination and has tried to act in Iran’s interest. This independence has brought it continually into conflict with imperialism, especially with Washington.

Last year the Trump gang broke its nuclear agreement with Iran and is now trying to squeeze the Iranian people with sanctions to make their government submit. The U.S. has sent its warships to the waters off Iran and flown spy planes and drones around and over it. So far Washington’s attempt at intimidation has failed — and that’s good for the workers and people worldwide.

The task for anti-imperialists, indeed for anyone in the U.S. who wants peace, is clear: Mobilize to stop U.S. aggression and end the sanctions against Iran. 

Down with U.S. imperialism!

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