Following a naked act of war against Iran by US imperialism, we must tenaciously resist any drive to fresh war and bloodbath.
The assassination of Qassem Soleimani, Iran’s leading military commander, at Baghdad airport in Iraq this morning was a naked act of imperialist aggression by the United States government. In a single act, the Trump Administration effectively declared war on Iran, and flagrantly violated Iraqi sovereignty. This action has the potential to ignite a catastrophic regional bloodbath across the Middle East.
The killing of Soleimani comes after an extended period of imperialist aggression towards Iran by the Trump Administration and previous US governments. Weapons used by the United States to this end have included crippling economic sanctions aimed at blocking supplies of food and primary medicines to the Iranian people, as well as the sponsorship of armed insurgencies within Iran.
A fuller analysis of the situation can be developed and advanced in the days to come. What is imperative at present is to marshal the greatest and most emphatic resistance possible to the Trump Administration’s reckless lurch towards war with Iran, and to any complicit part that the British state, military and intelligence services may play in such an offensive. We call unreservedly for the most tenacious possible campaign of opposition to any potential war, including mass protests but also stretching to direct action and to strike action of the kind carried out successfully by logistics workers in France and Italy in relation to Saudi Arabia’s genocidal war on Yemen. If a war does break out, we must build an overwhelming movement of mass opposition to it. Popular power is the only reliable counterweight to the imperialist agendas of powerful states, their military and intelligence establishments, and the ruling-class interests that ultimately determine their foreign policies.
It must also be acknowledged that an escalation has potentially deadly consequences for the revolutionary mass movement which has been waged by the people of Iraq against their own dictatorial rulers throughout recent months. Despite the killing of hundreds of Iraqi protesters by security forces and associated militias, the movement has continued to rally and to demand an end to corruption, sectarian rule, and neoliberal impoverishment. They have also demanded true national independence for Iraq, in the face of both US imperialism and Iranian military intrigues.
A renewed armed conflict between the Iranian state and US imperialism would be devastating for the Iraqi popular movement. The conversion of Iraq, once again, into a scene for armed conflict between rival states and imperialist powers, would be disastrous for the protesters, whose cause runs counter to the interests of all the major competing regional powers, and who have no recourse to armed force to defend themselves. Already, the Iraqi authorities are seeking to capitalise on the fallout of the assassination to falsely style the mass movement as a pawn of US imperialism, justifying further massacres and crackdowns against the populace.
The protest movement of the Iranian people that has broken out in recent months, against austerity and repression within Iran, also has nothing to gain and everything to lose from an external imperialist intervention that would inflict mass death and destruction upon Iranian society.
We hope to publish more analytical pieces in the days to come. For now, we say: no war with Iran! No peace with imperialism!
The Stop the War coalition is holding demonstrations tomorrow, Saturday 4 January, in London and Manchester, with more likely to be announced via their Facebook page.