Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Time To Revisit `A People's History of Iran' Again: Part 23

(All the 2012 GOP and Democratic presidential candidates in the USA—except for Ron Paul—apparently support the U.S. government’s current policy of waging economic warfare and covert war against people in Iran and threatening people in Iran with an overt US/Israeli military attack in 2012. Yet most people in the United States know little about the history of people in Iran since foreign imperialist powers began undemocratically and illegally intervening in its internal political and economic affairs in the late 19th century. But here's part 23 of "A People's History of Iran," from a few years ago--bf).

It was the traditional Islamic opposition groups led by the anti-communist religious Iranian Bazaar merchant class and the anti-communist Iranian clerical hierarchy, not the Tudeh Party, the People’s Fedayeen guerrilla group or the People’s Mojahadeen guerrilla group which soon ended up gaining Iranian state power following the collapse of the Shah of Iran’s regime in early 1979.

Led by Ayatollah Khomeini, the traditional Islamic groups were apparently able to gain political power by default because of the absence of mass-based working-class organizations in Iran in the late 1970s and the degree to which the Iranian masses were still strongly religious in 1979. Despite their hatred for the Shah of Iran’s police-state regime and the U.S. government that had installed and backed the Shah’s dictatorial regime, the Iranian masses in 1979 were apparently not willing to now throw their political support behind an effort to establish a new anti-imperialist, secular, democratic, leftist revolutionary regime in Iran.

Almost immediately after the 1979 Revolution in Iran, the People’s Mojahadeen group and the pro-Khomeini Islamic groups began to split apart. Then, in April 1979, a referendum to abolish the Iranian monarchical system of government and set up an Islamic Republic in Iran controlled by Iran’s fundamentalist clerical hierarchy under Ayatollah Khomeini’s leadership was held. Although all the secular Iranian political groups were opposed to the creation of this kind of Sh'ia-led Islamic theocracy (with Khomeini as the supreme and divine authority) within Iran, on the grounds that it would create an undemocratic post-revolutionary Iranian society, an Islamic Republic was soon established in Iran.

Ayatollah Khomeini had initially promised to organize a popularly-elected Constituent Assembly in Iran to draft the Islamic Republic’s new Constitution. But, fearing that a popularly-elected Constituent Assembly in Iran would give some representation to the People’s Mojahadeen group activists who now opposed him politically, Khomeini broke his promise. Instead, the Ayatollah set up a smaller, Islamic clergy-dominated Assembly of Experts which began drafting the Constitution for the Islamic Republic in the summer of 1979.

This new Constitution was completed around ten days before the U.S. Embassy and U.S. Embassy employees in Tehran were taken hostage on November 4, 1979 by young Iranian political activists--who were protesting against the Democratic Carter Administration’s refusal to extradite the [now-deceased] former Shah of Iran back to the new government in Iran to face a post-revolutionary Iranian war crimes tribunal. (end of part 23)

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