HASSAN Rouhani has hailed his election as Iran’s president as a ‘victory of moderation over extremism’.
The cleric won just over 50 per cent of the vote, and so avoided the need for a run-off after a campaign that held one hand out to the large numbers of Iranian workers and youth who have been hit very hard by the imperialist sanctions, are sick and tired of government privatisations and rising prices, and are growing very tired of the current theocratic stranglehold on power, exercised through the Supreme Leader.
Rouhani had to obtain the approval of the religious authorities to stand, and was backed by the more far-sighted clergy as a safety valve who could contain, or even dissipate, the energies of the large numbers of discontented Iranians who can now be seen to constitute a majority.
His election as a ‘moderate anti-extremist’ is also a signal that the Iranian leadership would like to have some serious negotiations with the imperialist powers headed by the United States.
There is every reason for considering that the US and Co will accept the offer and test out whether a combination of Rouhani and Putin can get them off the Syrian and other hooks, on which they are currently impaled.
It cannot be forgotten that in 2003 Iran intimated to the US that it would stand by and watch the US invade Iraq, with which it had a common border, and overthrow the Saddam Hussein regime – an overthrow that strengthened imperialism in the Gulf.
Previous to this, it assured the US that it would not interfere with its invasion of Afghanistan which also brought US forces onto its borders – likewise Iran’s support for the overthrow of the Gadaffi regime in Libya which strengthened imperialism.
The Iranian theocracy runs a bourgeois regime in the interests of the Iranian bourgeoisie, and therefore puts that interest before the common anti-imperialist interests of the oppressed nations and the working class. This means that the imperialist powers may well listen to the hectoring of imperialist politicians such as Jack Straw, not to make the ‘mistake’ of treating Rouhani in the same dismissive way that they treated his political predecessor Khatami.
The Iranian theocracy is anti-imperialist to the extent that it is opposed to US interference in what it sees as its own affairs. It is not necessarily opposed to bartering away some other nation’s interests, if it helps to secure their own requirements.
However, the vast majority of the 50 per cent plus that voted for the new president are from the working class, the lower middle class and the poor of the great Iranian cities.
They are not in any way pro-imperialist, and understand that imperialism is an implacable enemy of the Iranian people that must be defeated, particularly throughout the Gulf and the Middle East. The working class is a powerful force in Iran. There are powerful trade unions that are semi-legal as far as the right to strike is concerned, rather like the UK trade unions. The Iranian working class does not want to see the return of a Shah or some other imperialist puppet.
It is this class whose role it is to continue the Iranian revolution to the point where the working class takes the power, along with the rural poor, and helps transform the entire Middle East and the Gulf, putting an end to Arab feudalism and driving out the imperialists and their Zionist helpers.
The only way that the future of Iran and all of the anti-imperialist states can be guaranteed is through the struggle for, and the victory of, the world socialist revolution.
Iran and the Iranian working class must continue to march forward, arm in arm with the Syrian, Lebanese, and Palestinian masses and play a decisive role in smashing world imperialism.