Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/481/2249

From The Socialist newspaper, 4 April 2007

Editorial

Iran - Sailors fall victim to imperialist policies

CLAIM AND counter-claim from the Iranian and British governments has followed the Iranian government's capture of fifteen British marines and sailors, allegedly for trespassing into Iranian waters. Both the British sailors and the Iranians recently captured by the US should also be released. [Since this editorial was written, the sailors have been released.]

Regardless of whether the British sailors did enter Iranian waters, the New Labour government bear responsibility for these young men and a woman having become pawns in an international political confrontation. It is Blair's total support for the US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq that led these marines and sailors, along with around 8,000 other British troops, to be stationed in Iraq in the first place. It is no accident that one of the most popular proposals to solve the crisis on the BBC's discussion board was to offer to swap Bush and Blair for the fifteen sailors!

The occupation has created a living hell for the population of Iraq. Even the British government no longer denies the estimate that 655,000 Iraqis have died as a result of it. In addition, over one hundred British and over three thousand US soldiers have been killed, with more than 20,000 seriously wounded.

Far from resulting in an increase in US imperialism's power and prestige, as Bush and the neo-cons fantasised it would, the occupation has, as we predicted, led to an enormous undermining of US imperialism and its most loyal lieutenant, the British ruling class. This is graphically demonstrated by both powers' impotence in the face of Iran's capture of the sailors.

One of the many unintended consequences of the invasion of Iraq has been the strengthening of Iran as a regional power. (For more analysis on Iran see April's Socialism Today).

US imperialism sees this as a threat to their interests in the region. But, as we have explained, despite Bush's posturing, a ground invasion of Iran has always been ruled out given the enormous 'overstretch' in the US army as a result of the Iraq debacle, and the undoubted determined mass resistance they would face from the Iranian population, much greater than was faced in Iraq.

Even the bombing of Iran's nuclear facilities by the US or Israel would result in the deaths of large numbers of Iranian civilians and would cause an enormous increase in regional conflict and hatred for imperialism amongst the masses of the Middle East.

Iran could in that situation block the Straits of Hormuz and therefore much of the world's oil supplies, probably provoking a worldwide economic crisis. For these reasons a majority of the US ruling class oppose any such measure and want instead to take the 'diplomatic road'.

Against this, however, the Bush regime has further provoked conflict by the capturing of five Iranians in Iraq that it claims were part of an 'elite squad' of Iranian soldiers. In fact it has now been revealed that this was part of a US attempt to abduct two senior Iranian security officials who were on an official visit to northern Iraq. Having failed to take officials it seems they took ordinary soldiers.

Iran retaliated by taking ordinary British sailors. As ever it is the working-class men and women in the armed forces that suffer the consequences of imperialism's policies.

Imperialism's record

THE BRITISH sailors and the Iranians captured by the US should be released. Yet when hundreds of individuals are still being detained without trial in Guantanamo Bay, appearing on TV in chains, Bush's shrieks of outrage about Iran's "inexcusable behaviour" will ring hollow amongst the masses in Iran and the Middle East.

Anger with US and British imperialism in Iran did not begin with the invasion of Iraq in 2003. The imperialist powers dominated Iran, like the Middle East as a whole, for over a century; firstly via direct colonial rule and then by backing regimes that would act in imperialism's interests.

Hence British and US imperialism's backing for Saddam, including providing him with chemical weapons, in the brutal eight year Iran/Iraq war. In 1988, near the end of the war, US missiles shot down an Iranian civilian plane, killing all 290 passengers. The US has never apologised and it is widely believed in Iran that this was not an accident but an attempt to force Iran to end the war which it did a month later.

British imperialism carries particular odium amongst the Iranian population for its central role in encouraging the CIA to organise the 1953 coup against Dr Mohammed Mossadegh, a democratically elected prime minister, and installing the brutal dictatorship of the Shah, which was only overthrown in the 1979 Iranian Revolution. Mossadegh's 'crime' was to nationalise the Anglo-Iranian Oil company (now British Petroleum).

It is therefore unsurprising that the Iranian regime is using the capture of the British soldiers to make 'good theatre'. While the small demonstration outside the British embassy in Tehran appears to have been largely staged by the Revolutionary Guard, it is probably true that the parading of the British sailors on Iranian TV is gaining some popular support.

The Iranian regime is based on right-wing reactionary political Islam and is increasingly unpopular amongst the Iranian masses, particularly youth. While President Ahmadinejad initially won popularity by attacking the Iranian elite's privileges, his policies are fundamentally pro-capitalist, as he demonstrated with the brutal suppression of the Tehran bus workers' strike. He is now increasingly unpopular.

There are splits within the regime with a section considering Ahmadinejad's nationalist rhetoric a liability, particularly those who would like to move towards opening up the Iranian economy and introducing more neo-liberal policies and would therefore like to find an accommodation with US imperialism.

Neither imperialist interference in Iran or Iraq, nor interference by the Iranian regime in the region, offers a way forward for the peoples of Iran or Iraq. The key to a just and democratic solution to the problems in the Middle East lies with the region's workers and peasants, supported by the international working class.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 4 April 2007:

Children suffer in low pay Britain


Socialist Party editorial

Iran - Sailors fall victim to imperialist policies


Socialist Party news and analysis

Brown's pension robbery

Blair: No solutions to crime or crowded prisons

Waltham Forest protest - more memorable than Prince Charles!

Commemorating the abolition of the slave trade


Socialist Party reviews

One Life: Ricky Tomlinson

In The Line of Fire

Days of Glory


Education

Take national action to defend education

Labour's market policies damage education

Privilege and privation in our schools

NUS leadership abandon fees fight


PCS takes industrial action

London strikers close passport office

PCS members take industrial action

Anger on Newport picket line

Upbeat London rally


Campaign for a New Workers Party

How to stop the BNP: Build a political alternative

Campaign for a New Workers' Party


Socialist Party NHS campaign

Ammanford home care workers march

Frustration at demo delay

We shall not be moved!


Asylum

Save Sadiq Abakar

Leicester protesters challenge Home Office


Workplace news and analysis

Trade union leaders heckled over inaction

Action needed as Ford bosses close Leamington plant

Celebs fail to save Burberry

Greenwich: "We've got to strike"

Burslem postal workers strike again


Northern Ireland

British government and local parties retreat on water charges

We Won't Pay Campaign


 

Home   |   The Socialist 4 April 2007   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Iran:

triangleIran's presidential election

triangleStrike wave marks new stage in revival of Iranian workers' movement

triangleIran: Renewed wave of protests and strikes

triangleRenewed protests shake Iranian leaders

triangleLondon: Protesters return to oppose Middle East war

US:

triangleCuban protests - what do they represent?

triangleEngland football team

triangleYouth Fight for Jobs is back

triangle"It's great to be back": Come to a Socialist Party in-person meeting

Iraq:

triangleTV: Once Upon a Time in Iraq

triangleIraq - a brutal legacy of imperialist intervention

triangleSuleimani's assassination - Middle East thrown into turmoil

Imperialism:

triangleWill Biden's new foreign policy change the direction of US imperialism?

triangleCaerphilly & RCT Socialist Party: China - the new imperialism

Invasion:

triangle15 years since the invasion of Iraq: what we said

Middle East:

triangleSwansea and West Wales Socialist Party: Instability continues in the Middle East

Occupation:

triangleThe 1971 Upper Clyde Shipbuilders occupation and work-in

Ahmadinejad:

triangleMovement challenges Iranian regime

International

International

28/7/21

Workers

In brief: News, reports & analysis from the CWI

28/7/21

Hospital

Israel: Hospital ancillary workers' strike suspended

28/7/21

Cuba

Cuban protests - what do they represent?

19/7/21

Africa

South Africa: Build working class unity for way forward for all

19/7/21

Germany

Germany: Flood disaster affects hundreds of thousands

14/7/21

Latin America

New wave of radicalisation in Latin America

14/7/21

Olympics

Putting the Olympic gravy train ahead of public health

14/7/21

Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan: Solidarity with protesters attacked by regime forces

12/7/21

Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan: Nur Otan regime attacks peaceful protest

7/7/21

Israel

Israel: Hospital ancillary workers strike over pay parity and workload

30/6/21

Israel

The Israeli working class

30/6/21

Hospital

Israel: Hospital ancillary workers strike over pay parity and workload

30/6/21

Green

German Greens: The image and reality

23/6/21

Immigration

Are Biden's immigration policies a break with Trump's?

23/6/21

Iran

Iran's presidential election

triangleMore International articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: [email protected]

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 077 7221 5281

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 078 0983 9793

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


August 2021

July 2021

June 2021

May 2021

April 2021

March 2021

February 2021

January 2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999