This is an introduction to an upcoming article on Iran by Ali Yerevani for the March 2020 issue of Fire This Time newspaper.
PART ONE (Introduction)
February 10 and 11 mark the anniversary of the triumph of the 1979 Iranian revolution; 2 days that shook the world. I’m honored, like millions of other Iranians, both young and old, who were able to participate to finish the overdue task of overthrowing the imperialist puppet monarch Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi and cut the hands of colonial powers from Iran.
As a revolutionary socialist organizer and young leader, I witnessed the validity of every theory and analysis from Marx to Lenin in a tremendous exhibition of power and will by the heroic Iranian people. The Iranian revolution of 1979 was deeply rooted in the history of struggle of the Iranian people for freedom and democracy. The roots stem from Iran’s first anti-imperialist movement in 1891 – the Anti-British Tobacco Movement – which was the vanguard of oppressed peoples’ anti-colonial movements throughout Asia and Africa. This fundamental desire for change never rested, repeating itself in 1905-1911, the 1920s and 1945-1953 and finally 1979. The Iranian people were consistently on the march for change.
No matter what one calls it – the Iranian revolution or the Iranian Islamic revolution – the 1979 revolution was not only one of the most important and significant mass popular movements in modern time, deeply embedded in its character and process, it was a classic revolution with perfectly clear antagonistic classes in motion with both sides fighting to prevail over history in their own respective terms. If I may say, the 1979 revolution in Iran perfectly resembled the great Russian revolution of 1917. In terms of the dynamics of the battle between revolution and counter-revolution of the social classes, they finally reached their exhaustion in dialogue and compromise. It became clear that one would have to remove the other. Millions of Iranians in mass revolutionary struggle for a new order, inevitably lead to a mass armed insurrection of millions of Iranians against the old, corrupt, and broken regime.
By the dawn of February 12, 1979, the will of the mass majority of Iranians prevailed. History took a deep breath of relief. It is fair to say, every honest revolutionary who participated and had the honor and privilege to intervene – as much as it was in one’s physical, intellectual and political capacity – in this gigantic shake up of history in Iran, regardless of all difficulties, tremendous pressures, violence, physical harm, and death one will say with utmost certainty and confidence, even with knowing and understanding fully today’s condition in Iran, we would do it again, only this time we would be wiser.
The Iranian revolution changed the whole political equation in the Middle East and North Africa. It has changed the balance and relationship of social and political forces for the foreseeable future, not only in the immediate region, the Middle East, but the whole of Africa, Asia, and the rest of the world. The powerful message of the Iranian revolution for independence and self-determination is still resonating, influencing, motivating, and inspiring millions of masses in the Middle East and North Africa today.
Imperialism with all its savagery and brutality is currently in its lowest capacity to dominate oppressed nations. From the occupation of Afghanistan in 2001, which started a new era of war and occupation; to and Iraq in 2003; to revolutionary uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa in 2011; and the ongoing resistance of Yemenis, Syrians and Palestinians to imperialist aggression, we see the proof of the continuation of the spirit of the Iranian revolution and its aftershocks for fundamental change. And today, no matter who is in power in Iran, the revolution continues its course - internally and externally.
The Iranian revolution, its revolutionary dynamics, and its resistance to imperialism have put working class and oppressed people in the Middle East, North Africa, and around the world in a better position to win the struggle against imperialist powers, to win national independence and self-determination. All of this with the continued hope of striking forward towards future socialist revolutions.
Follow Ali on Twitter: @aliyerevani
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