To the rank and file of the IMT
Taking into consideration the behaviour of the IS over the past nine months, and the IEC’s consistent indifference or endorsement of this behaviour pattern, we came to realise – even before our expulsion – that it is impossible to contact you through the internal communication channels of the IMT, the so-called ‘democratic structures’. When we were the IMT’s official Iranian section we even found it difficult to contact all IEC, national EC and CC members – let alone the rank and file of the sections.
Throughout the past nine months the IS has consistently blocked the distribution of any of our material that disagreed with its own position. The IS has censored our dissenting view using the excuse that ours is a minority view. Since hardly anyone has heard our point of view, however, how can anyone estimate whether our position is a minority or a majority view?
Since we are now outside the IMT anyway, we have no choice but to adopt this direct method of communication.
The process that led to our expulsion was very simple:
1- We had a long-standing disagreement about the necessity of condemning unequivocally and robustly Chavez’s support for the Iranian regime.
2- Following the disputed ‘election’ result in June 2009 and the ensuing street protests, we disagreed with the contradictory position of the IS: while the IS simply took the protests to mean that the “Iranian revolution had begun”, it still refused to condemn Chavez for his unstinting support for his ‘brother’ Ahmadinejad and, in effect, approval for the killing of Iranian youth in the streets as well as raping and torturing them in the regime’s jails. Chavez even reiterated his support at a recent PSUV congress.
3- We tried to bring this disagreement to the attention of the IEC and the wider membership of the IMT. This was blocked by the IS for two months. We were forced to go public with this disagreement.
4- Organisational measures, particularly the ‘parachuting in’ of two members, who although member of two other IMT national sections, are not members of the IRMT, were taken against us. This was an attempt to engineer a fictitious ‘split’ in the IRMT.
5- When caught out, the IS invented a story about our compromising the security of these two non-IRMT members of the IMT, in order to justify the expulsion of Maziar Razi and the whole Iranian section.
The allegations against Maziar Razi
The IEC justified the expulsion of Maziar Razi and the disaffiliation of the IRMT because he had allegedly committed “A criminal act”! They claim that “MR had publicly attacked the positions of the International on several occasions” and that “In spite of being offered all the internal channels to express his disagreement, he decided to boycott the IEC, considering it to be a bureaucratic rubber stamp for the IS”.
The fact is that the source of this disagreement, Maziar Razi’s Open letter to the workers of Venezuela on Hugo Chavez’s support for Ahmadinejad, has still not been circulated to all national ECs and CCs, let alone the general membership of the IMT. It took three reminders and two months for the correspondence to even reach all other IEC members! Once they did receive the material, unfortunately, the IEC members were mostly totally silent or indifferent on this very important issue: Chavez’s ‘revolutionary’ support for torture and murder by the Iranian bourgeois state against a movement that the IMT itself calls a ‘revolution’!
We are not sure why Maziar Razi’s attempts to publish the position of the Iranian section is called a “slanderous campaign against” the International. That, together with “His deliberate boycotting of the democratically elected leadership of the International” (is there such a thing as accidental boycotting?), “were sufficient reasons for disciplinary action – suspension from the IEC at the very least.” Where in the 1994 Statutes of the International does it stipulate that boycotting a politically indifferent IEC (or other body) should “at the very least” lead to suspension from it?
Then the IEC moves on to give details of the ‘crime’: “But what he did subsequently can only be described as a crime. In his latest tirade of insults against the International, sent out to undisclosed recipients, he deliberately leaked personal information on two young Iranian comrades who support the line of the International.”
The IEC’s deliberations on Maziar Razi’s actions continue in the same vein and they conclude by saying that the IMT is better off without him (and the IRMT) and that they will now go on to build in Iran – unhindered by our “sectarian approach”. On this false basis the IEC unanimously passed two resolutions (the text of the IEC’s deliberations and the two resolutions are included in the appendix).
Let us examine the IEC’s ‘evidence’ for Maziar Razi’s “crime”.
IEC resolution No 1
IEC resolution No 1 condemned Maziar Razi for boycotting the IEC meeting and accused him of “threats, ultimatums and blackmails”, rejected the fact that material written by Comrade Razi had been censored, and that publishing positions contrary to those of the IS constituted an attack on the “positions of the International and the International itself constitute a blatant and unacceptable violation of revolutionary discipline”.
First, the reason that Maziar Razi boycotted the IEC was that his Open letter was not published and the IEC was totally silent about this matter. In order to protest against this lack of political responsibility by the leadership of the IMT he boycotted the meeting, as instructed by the EC of the IRMT.
Second, we are unaware of any “threats, ultimatums and blackmails” made by Comrade Razi and would like the IEC to reiterate them so that everyone, the IRMT and all rank and file members of the national sections of the IMT, are clear about them. We also disagree with “threats, ultimatums and blackmails” and believe that they should be fully exposed for the benefit of the whole working class movement – especially when they are serious enough to warrant the expulsion of an well-known Trotskyist.
Third, we would like to know how the IS explains the process through which our position, the position of the official Iranian section as recognised by the 2008 World Congress, on Chavez’s support for the Iranian regime gunning down people on the streets, as well as raping and torturing detainees, has not appeared on Marxist.com, or any other IMT website or paper. How can the IS be both overjoyed about the beginning of the Iranian revolution and also turn a blind eye to Chavez’s support for the butchers of the very same ‘revolution’? Furthermore, why did it take two months – and three reminders! – for the opinion of an IEC member (Maziar Razi) to reach other IEC members? Subsequent correspondence by Comrade Razi has also been subject to many delays and bundling with ‘explanatory’ material written by the IS.
Fourth, in the middle of this ‘revolution’, with all internal and public IMT channels blocked, how else can our position be voiced? If publishing a position contrary to that of the leadership is to “attacking the positions of the International and the International itself constitute a blatant and unacceptable violation of revolutionary discipline”, then Lenin was guilty of the same thing at least 10 times during his political career, particularly in April 1917, as explained by Comrade Alan Woods:
“When Lenin’s April Theses were published in the pages of Pravda, on April 7, they appeared over a single signature—Lenin’s own. Not one of the other leaders was prepared to associate their name with Lenin’s position. The very next day, Pravda published an article by Kamenev entitled Our Disagreements, which disassociated the Bolshevik leadership from Lenin’s position, stating that it represented his own private views which were shared neither by the editorial board of Pravda nor by the Bureau of the Central Committee.” (Alan Woods, Bolshevism – the road to revolution, p 534).
IEC resolution No 2
IEC resolution No 2 claims that “Following the deliberate and scandalous boycott of the IEC, MR has launched a vicious attack on the International which has been sent to an undisclosed list of recipients.” The IEC therefore claims that “MR saw fit to publish detailed information about them [BK of the Canadian section and HA of a European section], from which their identities can be easily determined by the Iranian state forces” and that by “publishing information that compromises these two comrades, MR has made it impossible for them to return to Iran to build the International without putting their lives in danger” and that “It was an attempt to strike back at his critics by exposing their identity, thus opening them to identification by the Iranian authorities. This was the action, not of a Marxist revolutionary, but of a vulgar police informer. This is a crime against the International, against the working class, and against all the democratic and progressive forces in Iran.”
As a consequence of this “crime”, the IEC declared that “that MR is expelled with ignominy from the International with immediate effect.” It further alleges this “criminal conduct was carried out with the active participation of both the internal and external ECs of the Iranian section” which justifies the disaffiliation of the Iranian section of the International.
First, the “vicious attack on the International” was a three page letter that was sent out before and not “Following the … boycott of the IEC”.
Second, even though it was addressed to the IEC and the rank-and-file members of the IMT it was sent to the IEC members only (plus a few other members of IMT who have been involved in the discussion or from Iranian origin like BK and HA). Given the consistent behaviour of the IS regarding our correspondence – i.e., either not distributing our material to IEC members or doing so after long delays (and repeated requests) – and as the IEC meeting was about to begin, the letter was emailed to the IEC members directly. This letter was not published or distributed anywhere! As it was sent to the IEC and a few IMT members only then we do not think that it likely that it has been leaked to any police agency!
Third, the letter in question was written by the EC of the IRMT, and not Maziar Razi. It appears that the IEC was in a great hurry to get rid of Maziar Razi, a thorn in their side, and did not take time to consider any of the basic relevant facts, including who wrote the letter!
Fourth, how could the identities of these two individuals have been exposed if we merely used the initials of their pseudonyms?! The European country in which HA lives has 20-25,000 Iranian political refugees and immigrants living in it. As, to BK, he lives in Canada where, according to the 2006 census, 121,505 Iranian live! These individuals, particularly BK, have no qualms about using their real names on Facebook and having IMT members among their friends on this social networking site. BK has many IMT and WCPI Facebook friends and his profile clearly describes him as a communist. Both BK and HA have used their real names to express their solidarity with trade unionists in other countries in campaigns and on the internet. BK, using his real name, has even been interviewed about the situation in Iran!
When it suits them they are totally at ease about using their real names, yet when they are caught red handed as part of a botched coup against the elected leadership and whole membership of the IRMT they become very sensitive about even using the initials of their pseudonyms!
Fifth, according to the IMT constitution there are certain procedures that must be followed in expulsions and there are clear guidelines about the appeals process! We have waited a week now and we still have not been offered any of these! We have therefore begun the appeals process ourselves and are waiting for the World Congress to clear the name of Maziar Razi and the IRMT.
The issue of BK and HA’s membership
Ever since the split between the Bolsheviks and Mensheviks took place in 1903, the issue of membership of a Marxist organisation has been a very serious one that has been set out in every group’s constitution, statutes or rules. The way an organisation has treated this vital issue has, justifiably, been taken to indicate which side of this historical divide it stands.
In January this year, when the Spanish section withheld its quarterly financial contribution to the International, i.e., its subs as a national section, the IS was fully within its rights to declare that this had formally placed the section “outside” the IMT. (Of course, this was merely one aspect of a long-running dispute which is outside the scope of this letter.)
We were therefore astonished to learn that when BK and HA wrote a letter to us raising some concerns about our position regarding the recent street protests that suddenly, in late February, they refer to themselves as two members of the Iranian section. Yet at no point has either of these comrades paid a penny in subs or been given responsibilities for any work carried out under the discipline and guidance of the leadership of the IRMT in relation to building the group inside Iran!
HA later retracted this baseless claim about his membership in a short letter to the IS. He then reiterated this correct position during one of the Iranian section’s weekly meetings (on 27 February, to which he had been invited as a guest), and he finally wrote a letter, which although was mainly a long tirade against us, nevertheless stated categorically that he is not a member.
We would like to state categorically that BK and HA are not, nor have ever been, “members in the work of IMT’s Iran section”. Indeed, during our meeting Saturday February 27, in reply to our question about the claim of membership in this letter, HA stated that he is not a member. He also said that “2-3 days ago I sent a personal letter to the IS and the letter begins with this: “Although my main personal responsibilities in the international has not been within the Iranian section I have, because I am an Iranian, been in more or less regular contact with comrade Razi and at times also participated in the weekly meetings of the IRMT. Besides this I have also been following the situation in Iran regularly, at least since the begginning of the revolution last summer.” Comrade HA then went on to say: “In summary, I’ll agree to whatever you want to write. In my opinion the question of my membership was not really raised in that letter, it was mostly the political problems and debates. […] I sent a letter so that the inside [core] of the debate becomes clarified […] I will write a long letter and I will apologise, but it is the political points that are important that no one has answered.”
On 2 March Comrade HA’s wrote a letter which included: “But for the record and to ease the Iranian comrades of their worries of being undermined by the first sentence of our letter let me personally state here that I am not a «member» of the Iranian section. This means that I do not pay subs and do not have any formal responsibilities in the section.”
HA’s clear statement about his status as a non-member of the IRMT stands in clear contrast against what three IS members claimed during the IEC session on Iran.
BK and the WCPI
This leaves us with the matter of BK of Canada’s fictitious membership in the IRMT. BK is in fact a member of the Worker-Communist Party of Iran. The WCPI is a semi-Maoist right centrist organisation that is based on the petty bourgeoisie. Whenever it intervenes in any struggle it always tries to pretend that it was the organiser and leader of that action and wants to take it over by any trick possible – and it is therefore utterly despised by the workers.
The theoretical ‘gems’ that Mansour Hekmat, the late leader of the WCPI wrote, are legendary within the Iranian left. We, the only Iranian Trotskyist group, have written hundreds of pages criticising various aspects of the WCPI’s policies. These include: a two stage theory of revolution; underestimating the importance of the national question; trying to impose their ‘leadership’ on the workers’ and other movements; their appalling and moralistic position on abortion; and so on. One of Hekmat’s biggest contributions to ‘Marxist theory’ is the concept of the ‘black scenario’, where the main danger to humanity is seen as civil war, the collapse of civilisation and the seizure of power by reactionary forces like Islamic fundamentalists. In order to prevent this he advocates cross-class alliances!
Following Hekmat’s death in 2002 there have been two splits: resulting in three WCPI’s competing for his legacy. The ‘main’ WCPI, the one that BK belongs to, recently published a ‘Manifesto of the Iranian Revolution’. This manifesto makes no mention of the dictatorship of the proletariat, communism or even the necessity of a general strike! The only time it mentions socialism is when it is quoting “Socialism or barbarism”, the slogan taken up by some student.
For many years the WCPI received money from Saddam’s Baathist regime. Once Saddam was overthrown, they then found some other unspecified state that provides them with money for 24-hour TV stations, radio stations, a plethora of websites and journals (most of which are given away for free!) and so on.
The WCPI is a force that is hostile to Trotskyism. It not only competes against the real Marxists, using the enormous resources at its disposal to make itself look bigger, but it ruins the reputation of the whole left when it tries to impose its leadership on any movement it intervenes in! It is the comrades in Iran who are particularly concerned about BK’s sudden ‘membership’ of the IRMT.
Three IS positions on BK’s ‘membership’
Despite BK’s membership of the WCPI, a group hostile to Trotskyism, Comrade Alan Woods still dealt with this vital issue during the IEC session on Iran in the following way: “Organisational methods have been taken against you? What organisational methods? What organisational methods? You’ve been expelled? You’ve been threatened with expulsion? We’ve been threatened constantly with a split. That’s what we’ve been threatened constantly with a split, by Razi. We haven’t expelled anybody, we haven’t taken organisational measures. But you are taking organisational measures against two young Iranian comrades that you want to expel from the group. Yes, oh yes! Or exclude from the group, it comes to the same thing. Exclude from the group. Let’s not quibble over words. Not for security reasons, that’s completely wrong what you said … not for security reasons at all. It’s because these very excellent young comrades have got a different position in relation to Iran than you have. Nothing to do with security, it’s a bureaucratic attempt to expel or exclude two young Iranian comrades who support the position of the International. … Oh, incidentally, one of these comrades he says, oh, what’s the big crime of Babak, he’s a member of the Iranian Communist Workers’ Party [sic], what a crime, what a crime, I say ‘well done Babak, well done, very well done’, yes, and it’s the same sectarian, why can’t he work in the Iranian Communist Party [sic], why can’t he? Amin gave the reasons, because they’ve got a bad programme. Good heavens above! If you were to accept that analysis you’d never work in any organisation in the world, trade unions as well by the way, … they’ve all got a bad programme. What is this? What is this nonsense? What is this nonsense? It’s complete sectarianism, and I’m sorry to say, I’m very sorry to be as hard as this, I try not to be hard, but you’ll never build with this, and I think we have to seriously discuss … the position of the Iranian section. I’ll put it on the table that we have to discuss the position of the Iranian group in relation to the IMT. We’d hoped the comrades would shape up, would improve, would adopt the correct policies. They’ve clearly not done so. They’re going from bad to worse. We cannot afford the IMT, and you can tell Razi what I said. We cannot afford the name of the IMT, in the middle of a revolution, to be associated in the eyes of the youth with the sectarian policy and this question must be resolved.”
So Comrade Alan Woods thinks that these two individuals are members of the IRMT – by virtue of membership of the IMT – and we want to expel them because of political differences. First, we have already seen that HA has categorically said that he is not a member of the IRMT. Second, BK belongs to an organisation that is even more hostile to Trotskyism (of any variety) than the Taaffeites are to the IMT! Can any IMT section accept a Taaffeite as a member?
The second IS position was taken by FDA: “Just to clarify, the two comrades that have been referred to, who are not official members of the IRMT, are members of the IMT. Is this a federation of national sections, or is it an international? The reason why it became such an important issue was that these comrades do not agree with Razi, that’s why the big fuss. This is a way of avoiding discussing the real political issues.”
So Comrade FDA talks about these two individuals as not being “official members of the IRMT”! We are not sure what is meant by official and unofficial members? Does the comrade believe in the 1903 formulation by Lenin, a formulation that has been handed down through the Third and Fourth Internationals, and is the formulation in the IMT’s 1994 statutes and those of all national sections? If so, then what is this attempt to obscure the important issue of membership? Using the same ‘logic’, we would like to ask whether now that we have been disaffiliated by the IEC, is this an official disaffiliation or an unofficial disaffiliation?
In addition, using the IMT membership of an individual as something similar to osmosis, where the membership of the International can easily ooze into membership of one or more national sections when it suits the IS, is definitely yet another organisational innovation of the IS. Using the ‘osmosis method’, and, ironically, under the guise of internationalism, all Bolshevik-Leninist concepts of membership are totally obliterated. We ask Comrade FDA this: could Kautsky have forced the Bolsheviks to accept Mensheviks as their members merely because they were all members of the Second International? Or even because they were all members of the RSDLP? This ‘osmosis method’ of organisation is preposterous beyond belief!
The third IS position was expressed by Comrade JM. It is the most ‘interesting’ position, as it starts with a categorical statement that these two individuals are not members of the IRMT but then somehow lurches towards the so-called ‘anti-federalist’ position of FDA! Comrade JM says: “The comrades seem to be very worried to establish whether Babak and Hamid are members of the IRMT. I don’t see what’s the fundamental importance of this. … They are not members of the IRMT. They are not members of the IRMT and now you can write it down and we can put it in writing if you want and you can take it back to whoever you want.” After singing the praises of Babak comrade JM then began to become confused about his position (which was originally that they were categorically not members) with that of Comrade FDA. Towards the end of his summary he said: “We’re a world organisation, we’re not a federation of national sections.” So Comrade JM wants to call heads and tails in the IS gamble that not only did not “shape up” the Iranian section but deepened the ongoing crisis of the IMT!
So there we have it: having been caught red handed in engineering a fictitious ‘split’, let us not quibble about words, effectively a coup against the democratically elected leadership of the IRMT, as elected unanimously at our founding conference in September 2008, the IS-IEC is in total disarray about the membership status of these two hapless comrades from two other national sections of the IMT! The IS comrades could not even get their story straight! For an organisation that is brimming with full-timers there are an awful lot of amateur antics and tactics coming out of the International Centre. At least, on a positive note, all three different positions from the same leadership body had the right to express themselves freely! That must be a first and, dare we hope, set a precedent for other differing views in the future!
* * *
Following the IEC session on Iran we made one final attempt at reconciliation. On 6 March, AK wrote a letter to JM on behalf of the IRMT EC in exile, which included the following:
“The recent ‘parachuting in’ of … [BK] and … [HA] as ‘members’ was a provocation that really incensed all comrades inside Iran. This came straight after he [BK] abused us in our own meeting! The comrades inside Iran are really very angry with … [BK] and how the IS is backing his attacks and is now claiming that he is a member.
“I therefore propose that you take the following goodwill gesture to allow us to turn the clock back by a week or so:
“We need an official letter from the IS stating clearly and categorically that … [BK] and … [HA] are not and have never been members of Iranian Revolutionary Marxists’ Tendency.
“This will cool things down inside the IRMT in Iran. Then we can continue comradely discussions and take further step to resolve our political differences and organisational problems.”
Not only did the IS and IEC not take up this offer, which considering HA’s two letters basically meant that the situation of BK – the member of a right centrist organisation – had to be clarified. But, instead of that, they escalated matters by an over the top retaliation – expulsion –based on total lies about our “crime”. The IS-IEC’s ‘goodwill gesture’ came in the form of the two resolutions!
Who is Maziar Razi?
For Maziar Razi it was no surprise that he was accused of being a “vulgar police informer” by the IEC. This, of course, is not because the IS-IEC is correct in its accusation, but because, as the very first Iranian Trotskyist, he has been accused of such ‘crimes’ by the Iranian bourgeois state and various types of Iranian Stalinists before. In order to clarify for the IMT membership the character and political biography of Maziar Razi, the person against whom the IS-IEC have made this baseless accusation, we would like to clarify that:
Maziar Razi was born into a left-wing (albeit Stalinist) family and he has been surrounded by political debate, discussion and protest all his life. From the age of 3 or 4 years he was taking part in protests and was first arrested at the age of 6. He took part in anti-Shah protests from when he was 15-16 years old. His family, to prevent him from “getting into trouble”, sent him abroad to continue his education. From the age of 16-17, however, Maziar became active with the International Marxist Group (IMG), the British section of the United Secretariat of the Fourth International (USFI). Since then he has been consistently involved in various anti-war (beginning with anti-Vietnam War protests in London, in 1968), anti-capitalist and anti-dictatorship struggles.
As the first Iranian Trotskyist, Maziar Razi was instrumental in recruiting other Iranians into the USFI. In subsequent years, together with other Iranian Trotskyists, he formed an Iranian Commission of the USFI and was one of the principle leaders of the Socialist Workers’ Party (Hezb-e Kargaran-e Socialist), the Iranian section of the USFI in 1978. During the past 40 years Maziar Razi has been a revolutionary Marxist and contributed a great deal, organisationally and theoretically, to the Iranian working class movement.
In addition to being the editor of many journals during this time it is the experience of the comrade during the 1978-83 period that is the most important indicator of his real revolutionary credentials. During the period of the Iranian revolution Maziar Razi was responsible in developing the sections of the HKS in the provinces, including Kurdistan and work among the oil workers of Khuzestan. It was because of his intervention within the oil workers’ organisations that Comrade Razi became one of the first political prisoners of the Islamic Republic! During this period the comrade stood as a candidate of the HKS in an election, was in contact with many shoras (workers’ councils) and helped develop the work of the party. The balance sheet of the HKS, a party with paper sales exceeding 50,000, is unmatched within the Iranian left.
It is therefore no wonder that the accusation of being a “vulgar police informer” has not been made against him even by some of his worst political adversaries during the past 20-25 years! This has been made by the two dictatorial bourgeois regimes in Iran, first the Shah’s monarchy, and then the Islamic Republic of Iran. The other time was by the staunch Stalinists active in the Confederation of Iranian Students (before the revolution), who then promptly expelled him.
We are concerned that this method has now been repeated by the leadership of the IMT – an organisation that has proudly been identifying itself as Trotskyist (even as the only true Trotskyists!).
Now let us contrast this with Maziar Razi’s attitude towards the comrades of the IS, even after their repeated blocking of our access to the International’s members about our disagreement on the issue of Chavez’s support for Ahmadinejad. When we had to launch the International Bolshevik Faction (together with the Swedish and Polish sections) to defend our democratic rights, MR said in Towards formation of the Faction: A principled path to unity and internal democracy in IMT:
«… Our aim is not to have a vendetta against any individual comrade. We are not the enemies of the IS or the IEC comrades. They all have worked hard and some of them for long years to keep the organization together. … We have to respect all comrades, in particular comrade Alan Woods, who has been one of our founders and contributed a great deal to the movement. The issue with the IS is not one of a personal problem with an individual comrade within it …» (27 January 2010).
Even at this stage Maziar Razi was fully appreciative of the work of the IS and AW in the (internal debate with IBF comrades). His conduct throughout this dispute clearly speaks for itself.
Covering the IS’s political tracks
Since we totally and categorically say that the IS’s position that Maziar Razi is a “police informer” is a false and baseless accusation, and we have shown how these two individuals are not IRMT members (and HA, the more honest one, has openly admitted this), and we have also demonstrated that we have not only not divulged the real names of BK and HA (which they themselves use [in the case of BK, flaunt] on Facebook and other sites), then the following questions arise: why did the IEC pass these resolutions? Why did they expel MR and disaffiliate the IRMT “in the middle of a revolution” in Iran?
Despite the three different interpretations of the IS on the membership status of BK and HA during the IEC session they (and later t he whole of the IEC) agreed on one point: that we have allegedly exposed the identities of these two Iranian members of the IMT individuals. According to position of one IS member we definitely did this despicable act to our own members merely because of a difference of opinion! The other two IS members were not so sure: one liked the ‘osmosis’ approach to organisational issues and the other, having agreed and categorically stated that they are not members, then had a change of heart when the logical conclusion of his unequivocal position dawned on him! So later he took the other one’s lead and also began defending the ‘osmosis method’. It seems that the three members of the IS cannot quite agree on this basic organisational point! One thing is certain though: the issue Maziar Razi and the IRMT exposing their identities is a total lie!
If we therefore see this expulsion and disaffiliation as a mere smokescreen, then we have to ask: what is the real reason for this accusation? The real reason is that Chavez, the same man who fully endorses the Iranian regime’s killing and raping of hundreds of young people, has proposed that a ‘fifth international’ be launched. We think that this is a very important issue that the World Congress should discuss and vote on. Therefore the real political reason for our hurried expulsion was the IEC’s support for Chavez and his so-called ‘fifth international’ which they will be presenting to the Congress as a fait accompli.
We ask the members of the IMT to judge this question on the basis of the evidence. On the one hand, we have Maziar Razi’s spotless record of over 40 years of political activity in some of the most difficult conditions imaginable. On the other hand, we see the bureaucratic manoeuvres of the IS-IEC, which when their coup-like plot to ‘parachute in’ members was foiled and the fictitious ‘split’ in the IRMT did not materialise, had to launch a vicious personal attack on Comrade Razi through a crude and inept attempt at character assassination. The behaviour of the IS-IEC leads us, inevitably, to believe that similar methods were used against the leaderships of the Spanish and Venezuelan sections. It also makes us acutely aware of the need to re-examine some of the previous splits, expulsions, ‘walkouts’ and ‘drop outs’ – particularly that of the Turkish section.
We believe that the methods adopted by the IS during the past nine months are clearly and unquestionably bureaucratic measures. Only bureaucracies behave like this towards those with a different view; unfortunately all bureaucracies work on the basis of the same logic, no matter how left-wing or ‘red’ the bureaucrats may be! We have therefore now made a formal request to exercise our right of appeal against our expulsion in accordance with the IMT’s 1994 statutes and look forward to discussing our experience of the past nine months with as many of the rank and file members of the International at the 2010 World Congress.
Iranian Revolutionary Marxists’ Tendency
22 March 2010
The IEC’s justification for the expulsion of Maziar Razi and the disaffiliation of the IRMT together with the text of the two relevant resolutions:
A criminal act
What is the reason for this drastic step? Before the IEC, MR had publicly attacked the positions of the International on several occasions. In spite of being offered all the internal channels to express his disagreement, he decided to boycott the IEC, considering it to be a bureaucratic rubber stamp for the IS (he sent a representative to read a statement to this effect).
His deliberate boycotting of the democratically elected leadership of the International and his slanderous campaign against it were sufficient reasons for disciplinary action – suspension from the IEC at the very least. But what he did subsequently can only be described as a crime. In his latest tirade of insults against the International, sent out to undisclosed recipients, he deliberately leaked personal information on two young Iranian comrades who support the line of the International.
This information was enough to allow the Iranian state to identify them, making it virtually impossible for these comrades to return to Iran to build the International or even to visit their families. These comrades› «crime» was to disagree with the position defended by MR that there is no revolution in Iran. This is no longer a political question. It is a betrayal of the most elementary principles of the workers› movement and is equivalent to acting like a police informer. The only possible response was immediate expulsion. And since these actions were carried out in the name of the whole Iranian group (there are only a few of them), the consequence was the disaffiliation of the group itself.
This does not mean the end of our work in Iran. On the contrary, it will be stepped up and put on a far healthier basis. Our ideas are having a big impact in Iran and we have many contacts in Iran and in exile, in addition to the Persian speaking comrades in Pakistan. The antics of MR, who denies that there is a revolution in Iran and has a sectarian approach, has alienated many people on the Left who would otherwise have joined us. His departure from our ranks, far from being a problem, will open new doors. On this basis we are sure that the work in Iran (which was at a very embryonic stage) can be quickly rebuilt on a far sounder basis.
Resolution on the Conduct of Comrade Maziar Razi (1)
This IEC condemns the action of comrade MR in boycotting this meeting. Comrade MR was elected to the IEC by the World Congress. If he has serious differences with the line of the International on Iran or any other question, he had the duty to attend the IEC and explain his ideas. For unacceptable reasons, he has refused to attend the IEC and instead sent a letter announcing he was boycotting the meeting. The International is a democratic organization where comrades with differences are given every opportunity to put their point of view. The IEC has guaranteed comrade MR’s right to express his ideas freely, with the same time as the representative of the IS. For unacceptable reasons, he has refused to attend. We reject the undemocratic method of «debate by email». Neither do we accept the method of threats, ultimatums and blackmails that has characterised comrade MR’s correspondence with the IS in the recent period. We totally reject the unfounded allegations made by comrade MR against the IS, and in particular the assertion that he has been «censored». We point out that, while any comrade is free to express criticisms and differences within the normal channels of the International, the articles published on the public organs of the International must reflect the line of the International, decided democratically by the World Congress and its elected bodies – the IEC and the IS. Neither comrade MR nor anyone else has any right to demand that our public organs must publish opinions that contradict the line of the International. The actions of comrade MR, in publishing articles in alien websites, and giving interviews on the radio, attacking the positions of the International and the International itself constitute a blatant and unacceptable violation of revolutionary discipline.
On the Provocations of MR (2)
Following the deliberate and scandalous boycott of the IEC, MR has launched a vicious attack on the International which has been sent to an undisclosed list of recipients. The material he circulated includes personal attacks against two young Iranian comrades whose only «crime» is that they dared to disagree with the political line of MR. In making these personal attacks, MR saw fit to publish detailed information about them, from which their identities can be easily determined by the Iranian state forces. One of these comrades has previously been arrested, imprisoned and tortured in Iran.
By publishing information that compromises these two comrades, MR has made it impossible for them to return to Iran to build the International without putting their lives in danger, even to visit their relatives. MR is not an inexperienced person. He is well aware of the question of security. His group has even refused to give the most basic membership figures to the International, alleging it was a «security risk». He was therefore well aware of what he was doing when he circulated this information. It was an attempt to strike back at his critics by exposing their identity, thus opening them to identification by the Iranian authorities. This was the action, not of a Marxist revolutionary, but of a vulgar police informer. This is a crime against the International, against the working class, and against all the democratic and progressive forces in Iran. We therefore declare that MR is expelled with ignominy from the International with immediate effect. In view of the fact that this criminal conduct was carried out with the active participation of both the internal and external ECs of the Iranian section, the IEC hereby disaffiliates the Iranian section of the International.