12 AUGUST 2019 — The International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS) vehemently condemns US President Donald Trump for making preparations for a war of aggression against Iran. Trump’s June 21 announcement that he stopped, at the last minute, a planned aerial attack on Iranian military facilities is just the most attention-grabbing of the many statements and actions that are part of his regime’s long-running crusade to launch a war against the Middle Eastern country.
The ILPS also condemns Trump’s advisers, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser and 2003 Iraq war advocate John Bolton – along with the US government’s closest allies in the Middle East, the Benjamin Netanyahu regime of Israel and the Mohammad Bin Salman regime of Saudi Arabia, who are responsible for the oppression of many workers and peoples in the region and are acting as Trump’s accomplices in preparing a war with Iran.
The ILPS is calling on all anti-imperialists the world over to oppose and fight Trump’s preparations for a war of aggression against Iran, which many observers say is most likely the next US shooting war. This is a war that aims to advance imperialist interests: the plunder of Iran’s rich oil and natural resources, the occupation of a most strategic region in global geopolitics, the destruction of a government that asserts its national sovereignty against US imperialist dictates, and the annihilation of a regime that has linked arms with the many struggles of the defiant workers and peoples of the Middle East who have been oppressed by decades of imperialist plunder, war and militarism.
Inside the US, the Trump regime wants to boost the super-profits of the ever-powerful military-industrial complex and assert the dominance of the US, and of Israel and Saudi Arabia, in the Middle East. It also wants to ramp up reactionary nationalist sentiments and boost its standing for the 2020 elections, by inventing threats not only from Iran but from immigrants from Latin America, businesses from China, among others.
The Trump administration’s hawkish approach towards Iran is highlighted by its junking in May 2018 of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), adopted on October 2015, in which Iran agreed to limit its nuclear program in exchange for billions of dollars in relief from years of sanctions. The US instead re-imposed and added sanctions on the Islamic republic.
The US sanctions against Iran is crushing the economy and impoverishing the 82 million workers and people of the country. Iran’s oil exports have fallen by half, and Trump has stated that he wants them to be reduced to zero. The value of the country’s currency has been reduced by 80 percent, inflation has skyrocketed, and unemployment is running high. Strikes and protests have also broken out against the Iranian government. It is clear that the sanctions work as a collective punishment against the people of Iran, contrary to international humanitarian law governing armed conflicts.
The ILPS assails the Trump regime’s conditioning of public opinion, through its monopoly-capitalist media, to favor war with Iran. The Trump regime has tried to depict Iran as supportive of al-Qaeda, contrary to the well-known hostility between the two. It has tried to portray Iran as developing nuclear weapons when even international observers and US intelligence say otherwise. It has tried to present Iran as attacking the US when the case being cited is the downing of a US drone trespassing over Iranian territory. It has ignored US and UK intelligence reports that show Iran does not pose an imminent threat to US national security.
US troops and weapons are building up in the Middle East in preparation for a war with Iran. After designating Iran’s Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization in April, Trump has ordered the deployment of an additional 2,500 troops and an aircraft carrier to the Middle East, increasing the US’ already heavy military presence. The US government also pulled out non-essential US personnel in Iraq, which many interpret as a preparation for war. Last year, the Pentagon has announced the plan for 2,300 airstrikes against so-called strategic targets in Iran.
The statements and actions of the Trump regime with regard to Iran could only highlight the need to strengthen and intensify anti-imperialist struggles in the US and in the world. The Trump presidency is yet another symptom of imperialism’s degeneration. Trump maintains the imperialist doctrine of waging “endless wars,” and has maintained direct US military intervention in Yemen, Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, and Venezuela.
Against its intentions, the Trump regime’s statements and actions are providing fuel for the resurgence and further strengthening of anti-imperialist movements in the US itself and around the world. Trump’s warmongering is so widely unpopular that even anti-war politicians in the US are working to pass legislation that will sunset the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) which was granted to former US Pres. George W. Bush in the context of the “global war on terror.” The AUMF’s validity ended in 2003 when the Saddam Hussein government was toppled but has since been abused to justify more than 41 military actions in 19 countries.
The ILPS supports the workers and people of Iran in exercising national sovereignty and standing up to US imperialism. The US wants to keep its nuclear hegemony, as Iran is prevented to develop its nuclear energy program while the US maintains the biggest stockpile of nuclear armaments, at the same time providing nuclear warheads to Israel.
Like any country, Iran has the right to defend its territory and airspace against foreign incursions which is guaranteed in the Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation of 1944 and to exercise its jurisdiction over the Strait of Hormuz. It has every right to demand identification from a vehicle flying in its airspace and take necessary action when such vehicle refuses to respond to its radio warnings. Iran has taken to heart one of the lessons taught by the “regime changes” in Libya, Iraq, and other countries carried out by the US through wars of aggression: the need for a nuclear capability, or the capacity to produce nuclear weapons when the need arises, as a deterrent to US bullying and wars of aggression.
The Trump regime is underestimating the capacity of the Iranian army, thrice the size of the Iraqi army the US subdued in 2003, as well as of Iran’s accurate missiles that can destroy US ships in the Persian Gulf region. It is also underestimating the damage and disruption that such a war would cause on the world economy, as one-fifth to one-third of the world’s oil supply passes through the Strait of Hormuz which is under Iranian jurisdiction.
The Trump regime is underestimating what could be a formidable armed opposition not just in Iran, but in neighboring countries Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, and other states in the Persian Gulf. It is trying to ignore the possible repercussions of attacking Chinese businesses in the region and of meeting resistance from armies whose weapons have been bought from Russia.
The Trump regime’s warmongering on Iran also ignores the lessons from the history of US intervention in the country. In holding a coup against the democratically-elected Mohammad Mossadegh, who nationalized British oil companies, to install the despotic regime of Reza Shah Pahlavi in 1953, the US instigated fiercer resistance from the Iranian workers and people which culminated in a popular uprising of 1979. In upholding and defending their sovereignty, the Iranian workers and people have learned the lessons from their experience of poverty and repression under a US puppet. In trying to again enforce its will against the workers and people of Iran, the US is showing that it has not learned its lessons from the debacle it has created in the Middle East: that oppressed people will fight US imperialism and its running dogs.
No to US war of aggression against Iran!
Stop the US military buildup in the Middle East!
End the US sanctions on Iran!
Down with US imperialism!
Workers and peoples of the world, struggle for national liberation, democracy and socialism!