Communists demand action to avoid war in Iran

The Central Executive Committee of the Communist Party of Canada has issued a statement condemning the ongoing foreign belligerence and escalating drive to war against Iran. The Party demands that the Canadian government take immediate action to de-escalate the crisis, which risks calls an all-out, regional war that could involve nuclear weapons. This action includes the immediate withdrawal of all US and NATO forces from the region, and normalization of Canada’s diplomatic relations with Iran.

The CPC writes that the current crisis is “the direct result of United States’ provocation, which is increasing on a daily basis.” The statement traces this provocation, beginning with the United States’ unilateral withdrawal, last May, from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and decision to reimpose sanctions on Iran. Those sanction were described by Donald Trump as “the most biting sanctions ever imposed,” and were followed by a further round in November 2018. The JCPOA is the nuclear deal that was signed in 2015 by Iran and all UN Security Council countries. The latter all indicated their opposition to US withdrawal from the deal.

This year, Trump continued to escalate tensions by unilaterally declaring in April that Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps was a terrorist organization and announcing that all countries importing Iranian oil will also be subject to US penalties. The stated purpose of internationalizing the US sanctions was “to bring Iran's oil exports to zero.”

The US has continued its provocations, on a nearly daily basis, through numerous military deployments; an arms deal to funnel $8 billion in weapons to US allies – and Iran’s rivals – in Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates; ordering, and then cancelling, a military strike in late June; and unleashing cyber-attacks against Iran.

“When the JCPOA was first negotiated in 2015, [we] warned that the deal avoided many of the underlying issues that have contributed to insecurity, conflict and war in the region,” notes the Communist Party statement. “There [was] no discussion of the role of Israel, a nuclear weapons state who has not signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty, or the matter of military buildup in the region by the US and its allies. Similarly, [the agreement] does not discuss foreign interference in the domestic affairs of sovereign states, a recurring tactic of imperialism as it drives to overthrow legitimate governments in countries such as Syria. The plan is further weakened by the absence of either a clear timeline for eliminating sanctions, or a common agreement on which sanctions will be lifted.”

Although the United States has left the JCPOA and reimposed sanctions, responses by Iran remain subject to the terms of the agreement and, therefore, to penalty from the other signatories. When Iran symbolically increased enriched uranium production by a tiny and insignificant amount, to protest US actions, it was immediately denounced by France, Germany and Britain.

The threat of war in the Middle East does not come from countries who develop nuclear energy industries to build their economies, nor from countries who oppose imperialist efforts to re-colonize the Middle East. The concrete threat is the existing conventional and nuclear weapons of the US, its NATO allies and Israel, whose governments constantly work to destabilize the region, to demonize governments that oppose their plans, and to find any pretext for justifying interference and war. The Canadian government has allied itself with the US and this tiny minority of governments.

The Communist Party warns that “a US-led war against Iran would quickly escalate into a regional conflict – or even broader – and involve nuclear-weapons powers including the US, NATO, Russia, and Israel.”

In the face of this urgent danger, the CPC is demanding the immediate withdrawal of all US and NATO forces from the region, and that the Canadian government oppose the US provocations against Iran, along with all acts of foreign interference and aggression. “Canada must restore and normalize its diplomatic relations with Iran, and work to end all sanctions against the people of Iran. We call for a new, independent foreign policy of peace, international cooperation and solidarity, with a focus on promoting comprehensive and general disarmament, beginning with the nuclear arsenals of the US, NATO and Israel.”

(The above article is from the August 1-31, 2019, issue of People's Voice, Canada's leading socialist newspaper. Articles can be reprinted free if the source is credited. Subscription rates in Canada: $30/year, or $15 low income rate; for U.S. readers - $45 US per year; other overseas readers - $45 US or $50 CDN per year. Send to People's Voice Business Manager, 706 Clark Drive, Vancouver, BC, V5L 3J1.)