Statement from the Communist Party of Iran (Marxist-Leninist-Maoist):
Qassim Suleimani was the military arm of a reactionary Islamist regime who was killed by the order of Trump, the fascist president of an invading imperialist country



Mao Tse-tung, the leader of the Chinese revolution and the International Communist movement, has a well-known statement saying that some deaths are heavier than a mountain pressing on your heart and some deaths are lighter than a feather. The death of thousands of young men and women of the uprising of last November 2019 in Iran belongs to the first type and the death of Qassim Suleimani to the second type and Donald Trump, who ordered his killing, undoubtedly belongs to the same category as Suleimani. The killing of Qassim Suleimani by the order of Fascist Trump does not erase war crimes committed by him nor the war crimes committed by the regime’s suppressive forces that shoot and kill hungry people protesting their conditions in the streets (of many cities in Iran).

Khamenei called for three days of public national mourning for Suleimani, while the martyrs of November rebellion are secretly buried or their tortured bodies are found in the waters behind dams or garbage dumps under the bridges and many still disappeared and thousands more have been arrested and under torture. Khamenei does not even allow relatives of those who lost their lives in the street fight to have a ceremony to commemorate the death of their loved ones martyred in November uprising, because the regime knows if they allow that to happen there would be a nonstop flow of people in the streets of Iran and the people of Khuzestan (in the South) would fill up the marshlands of Mahshar (where hundreds of protesters were driven to and machine gunned) by shedding tears and the people’s blazing anger would rage against this regime even more.

And now with mourning ceremonies for Suleimani, the miserable regime of IRI intends to turn the killing of the fascist Qassim Suleimani by a bigger bully fascist like Trump, into an event to white wash the blood that it has spilt of the masses of people in the November uprising. Maybe Suleimani did not order the mass shooting of the people in the November uprising, but he did order his men in the Quds force and its affiliates in Iraq to shoot to kill the Iraqi protesters in the October and November 2019 uprisings which engulfed that country.1 But we will not allow that to happen; we will not let this regime to use its Mafiosi contentions with the US imperialism in order to buy legitimacy for itself and justify its existence.

With the assassination of Suleimani by Trump’s order, some of the intellectual flunkies of the “two rotten outmodeds”—ie, the reactionary Islamic regime and the Imperialist USA—have started a new round of a campaign to try to polarize the people between these two outmodeds: on the side of the IRI or the US imperialism. Some of the flunkies of the IRI recited poetry for Qassim Suleimani praising him as the “worthy child of Iran”2. And Trump’s flunkies heaped praise upon him for killing Suleimani. These are two poles of the same idiocy and are equally besmirched and reproachable: those who decorate the reactionary policy of building Shiite Islamic Empire as “Resistance to imperialism” as well as those who don’t see the fascist nature of Trump’s “America First” and demand Trump, who is a master of throwing kids into cages, to “liberate people of Iran” from the clutches of the IRI!

IRI and the USA: Reactionary Contention over Iraq

As we wrote in the past, “The survival of the Islamic Republic depends on being an important player in the tumultuous scene of the Middle East and in this regards, it is and it will continue to carry out major military and political gambles”.3

For the past 21 years, Qassim Suleimani and the Quds Force under his command played a central role in this affair. He was eventually killed during one of these gambles. Prior to his death, Qassim Suleimani was involved in a multi-faceted campaign to maintain the Islamic Republic’s influence over Iraq. He tried:

  1. To end the waves of protests who had engulfed Iraq in the past months by resorting to cruel suppression of the people and overt bloodshed,
  2. To unify those Shiite militias who are rivals to the Quds Force (to this end he brought Muqtada al-Sadr to Tehran to meet with Khamenei),
  3. To pressure the Iraqi government in order to keep affiliates of the Quds Force embedded in Iraqi administration, military, and security/intelligence positions (Including key posts in the “Green Zone” and Baghdad’s Airport),
  4. To pressure the Iraqi parliamentarians to vote for “US withdrawal from Iraq”.

Qassim Suleimani’s recent zealous efforts and frantic trips between Damascus and Baghdad and Tehran aimed at preventing the collapse of the Islamic Republic’s influence in Iraq—a trend that has been on the rise since mass protests starting last October across the country against the Iraqi regime and influence of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Waves of mass protests spread everywhere including cities such as Najaf, which is considered a stronghold of the Quds Force. The consulate general of the Islamic Republic of Najaf was set on fire several times. In addition, the headquarters of various Islamist militia groups—whether affiliated with the Quds Force or its rivals—have been target of the public outrage. Protesting government corruption, unemployment, and influence of Iranian regime in the internal affairs of Iraq are the general sentiments of the protesters occupying Baghdad’s squares and bridges. Consequently hundreds of people were killed by Iraqi security forces, and Iran backed militia of Hashd al-Shaabi brigades and the Quds Forces. This resistance is still going on. This popular uprising also deepened the cracks and fissures in the ranks of the Iraqi Shiite government and destroyed the legitimacy of all its factions. Even Iran’s allies in this government have tried to hastily distance themselves from the Islamic Republic by expressing “concern and disgust” with the killing of protesters. The United States government was extremely happy with this development and saw it as an opportunity to strike down Iran’s influence in Iraq and drive the Quds Force out of the equations in that country. On 29 December 2019, the United States conducted airstrikes against Kata’ib Hezbollah (a branch of the Shiite militia directly under the command of the Quds Force) in northern Iraq in al-Anbar province (reportedly killing at least 25 militiamen and wounding 55 more). After the rain of rockets fell on the headquarters of this group, the Islamic Republic, and especially Khamenei, aimed to use the incident to turn the anti-IRI wave in Iraqi cities into an anti-American wave and restore legitimacy for the Quds Force and the Shiite militias. Hashd al-Shaabi issued a “retaliation” order that resulted in the attack on the US embassy in Baghdad’s protected “green zone” on Dec. 31. The Shi’ite militia entered the area easily because they themselves were part of the security of the Green Zone. But this “show of force” did not have much of an impact on the political climate in Iraq and the Islamic Republic did not benefit from it that much. The main US operation took place when Qassim Suleimani arrived in Baghdad with his associates from Lebanese Hezbollah on a flight from Damascus and senior Hashd al-Shaabi leaders came to pick them up.

The role of Suleimani in the Islamic Republic

Qassim Suleimani was the embodiment and executioner of the Islamic Republic’s policy of expanding its overseas influence. The survival of the Islamic Republic depends on the continuation of this policy—not because of the so-called “securing Iranian borders”, but because the Islamic Republic is not merely a theocratic regime within Iran’s borders, rather, it is the centerpiece of a reactionary Islamist movement in this region and as the IRI policy conceptualizers call it, it is the Um al-Ghora of Islam4 or the “Islamic Metropolis” for other “Islamic cities”. And its goal is to use its state power in Iran to establish an Islamic Empire in a region beyond Iran. This vision has not only made the Islamic Republic into a regional repressive power, but has also intensified the fascist imposition of Sharia law within Iran itself. Such vision requires the IRI regime to make Iran a role model for all other “Islamic cities”. This reactionary mission stimulates the Quds Force’s wars across Iranian borders as well as killing of masses of people inside Iran’s borders.

The wars in the Middle East have undoubtedly been largely the result of the invasions of the US imperialism and its allies—especially since the US occupation of Afghanistan in 2001, and then Iraq in 2003. But the Islamic Republic has played an important role in spreading these wars and has sought to create a space for developing and expanding its Shiite militias and in doing so they have even joined hands with military and security forces of the US in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere in the Middle East. Following the US occupation of Iraq in 2003 and the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, major uprisings among Sunni Arabs mounted against the US military, and that was dealt with cruel repression by the US military but in this suppression the Quds Force in particular and the Islamic Republic of Iran in general assisted the US. It was during years of internal repression in Iraq in 2007-2008 which the Shiite militias and particularly the Kata’ib Hezbollah, were formed under the leadership of Qassim Suleimani. The role of the Quds Force and Kata’ib Hezbollah in the assassination of Sunni elites and intellectuals at Baghdad University has not been sufficiently disclosed. After 2011 Kata’ib Hezbollah played a decisive role in the bloody suppression of the “Arab Spring” in Syria and in preserving the regime of Bashar al-Assad in power. Therefore, the “anti-imperialism” of the Islamic Republic and Qassim Suleimani has been very “situational” and purely deceptive.

More Devastating Wars Loom on the Horizon

The conflict between the Islamic Republic and the United States is an old one, but with the occupation of the White House by an all-out fascist regime, this contradiction has taken a new turn and thrives in a qualitatively different context than the past.

The Trump regime shreds all international treaties and pacts into pieces, and acts as an aggressive unbridled bully with the aim of establishing new norms in the global relations and this also encompasses the relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran. Under the Trump regime, the US imperialism has taken this “Path” to rise to the challenges that it is facing domestically and internationally. The status of US imperialism as the “sole and unchallenged superpower” in the world has been shaken and it is now confronted with sets of economic, political and military challenges thrown at it by other imperialist powers, namely the European Union, Russia, and especially China. In the meantime, the Islamic Republic is trying to ensure its survival through maneuvering within the cracks and fissures between the imperialist powers. The Trump/Pence regime in the US is upsetting the “conventional” rule of the bourgeoisie and the theocrat-fascist regime in Iran is sitting on top of a capitalist system dependent on Imperialism. But none of them can be considered “misfit patches” for the functioning of the capitalist-imperialist system. They only demonstrate the potentials of the world capitalist system in its antagonism to the interests of the majority of the world’s people.

American imperialism and the Islamic Republic are the enemies of the people in Iran and the entire Middle East. The contradiction between them has a totally reactionary and parasitic character, on both sides of the equation and has been a tremendous source of breeding suffering for the people of Middle East. Comrade Avakian has conceptualized this contradiction as:

... historically outmoded strata among colonized and oppressed humanity up against historically outmoded ruling strata of the imperialist system. These two reactionary poles reinforce each other, even while opposing each other. If you side with either of these “outmodeds,” you end up strengthening both.

While this is a very important formulation and is crucial to understanding much of the dynamics driving things in the world in this period, at the same time we do have to be clear about which of these “historically outmodeds” has done the greater damage and poses the greater threat to humanity: It is the historically outmoded ruling strata of the imperialist system, and in particular the U.S. imperialists...5

In the past 40 years the Islamic Republic has been making a lot of bombastic statements against the US claiming to have achieved “independence” from it. But, increasingly, it has tied the Iranian economy to the US dictates; hence, exposing the country and the people to the cruel economic sanctions of the US. Not only the Islamic Republic of Iran but the Islamic fundamentalists overall, represent the interests of the strata and classes that aspire to achieve power within the framework of the imperialist relations and to this end they have misused the hatred of the masses of the Middle East of the US imperialism. The tools and means utilized by the Islamic Republic and the American imperialism reflect their deep-rooted hatred of the masses of people.

It goes without saying that no reactionary regime will ever come close to US imperialism in aggression, slaughter and looting. The goal of the US military in Iraq and the Middle East is nothing but to dominate a region that has significant strategic and geopolitical import to dominate the entire world. The US is in the Middle East to plunder the people of these countries and their resources. The United States is in the Middle East to subordinate the imperialist powers of China, Europe, Japan, and Russia to its own global hegemony. America is in the Middle East to subdue the Islamic Republic and other reactionary regimes in the region towards its interests. But the point is that the US and the Islamic Republic and the wars in the Middle East are the product of a “system”. Sitting at the top of the system is the US imperialism, but this fact does not make the Islamic Republic less criminal, nor make its overthrow as soon as possible, less important.

Undoubtedly, Trump will try to make the best out of Suleimani’s assassination and escalation of tensions with the Islamic Republic to advance his contradictions with other factions in the US ruling class, and may even spark a wider war with Iran to find a justification for imposing his fascist regime inside the United States. Some members of the Democratic Party in the US have already likened the killing of Qassim Suleimani to “throwing dynamite in a tinder box”. All of these are real, and the maelstrom of chaos and devastating turbulences in the Middle East will turn even faster. The question is: what is the solution for the people in Iran and Iraq as well as in the US and all over the world?

Emergence of a world movement demanding to halt the reactionary and imperialist wars in the Middle East—exactly like the global movement against destruction of the environment—is urgent. The masses of people from Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Lebanon and Syria to the US, Egypt, Hong Kong and Moscow must come together and declare that they will not tolerate the continuation and expansion of these wars and are determined to put an end to every move by the US imperialists, Islamic Republic of Iran and other reactionary regimes in the region including Islamic warlords. More specifically, there is a need to establish political and practical connection/unity between the mass struggle against the Islamic Republic in Iran and the mass struggle in the United States to bring down the fascist Trump/Pence regime, from below. This will be a dynamic factor for an effective and inspiring resistance to the wars in the Middle East.

Mass and global resistance to wars are essential but these wars are products of a much deeper problem. The situation in the world has reached to a point where not only Iran, but all of humanity, is facing a crucial crossroads: facing catastrophic consequences flowing from the very functioning of the world capitalist system or putting an end to this system through communist revolutions and changing the course of human society towards a clear future which is millions times better than what is.

How the current situation will evolve, what ups and downs and twists and turns will go through and what the outcome of that will be, depends on various factors.

But the freedom and opportunity of the people and our party (the Communist Party of Iran/MLM) lies in organizing the revolutionary overthrow of the Islamic Republic of Iran and establishing New Socialist Republic of Iran and helping to open the same path in any other part of this region.

Strengthening this path in a country like the USA and under the leadership of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA will have profound impact on the morale and vision of the people all over the world and will annunciate to them that this world of oppression and cruelty can be overturned through an actual revolution. With this vision and compass of “New Communism”, we resolve to open our way through twist and turns and tumultuous paths towards a radically different future. The time is running late so let us seize the time.

Revolution, Nothing less!

Down with the imperialist and reactionary wars!

Down with the Islamic Republic of Iran – Down with the US Imperialism!

Long live Internationalist Unity!

Forward in the Communist Revolution for a New Socialist Republic of Iran!

Communist Party of Iran (Marxist-Leninist-Maoist)

January 5, 2020

1. The Hashd-ol- Shabi or the Popular Mobilisation in Iraq is an affiliate Shiite Militia of the Quds force and the Quds is the overseas branch of Islamic Republic armed forces. [back]

2. The famous literary figure and well known novelist Mahmood Dolatabadi did this. He is more than 80 years old and was in the past pro Tudeh Party (pro USSR revisionist party in Iran). [back]

3. Analytical Statement of the CPIMLM—May 17, 2019 [back]

4. Literally means: the mother of all villages. [back]

5. Bob Avakian: Bringing Forward Another Way: on the Two “Historically Outmodeds” [back]

Widespread protests in Iran followed government-set gasoline prices spiking. Photo: Human Rights Watch

Iranians protest in front of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, November 4. Photo: AP




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