US imperialism and its allies, including Israel, Britain, France, Germany and other powers, have been stepping up the pressure and siege of Iran to a feverish pitch in recent weeks. After a decision by Britain to further tighten sanctions on Iran, the Iranian majlis (parliament) decided on November 27 to downgrade its ties with Britain. Public anger in Iran against Britain took the form of a number of youth storming the British embassy in Teheran. This one act was given wide publicity in the imperialist-dominated global news media, but the circumstances leading up to it has hardly received any coverage. This is because the imperialists want to portray Iran as a “violent” and “irresponsible” power to justify their systematic attempts to destabilise the country and its government.
Ever since the Iranian revolution which overthrew the imperialists stooge the Shah in 1979, the imperialist powers have not relented in their efforts to demonise the Iranian state as controlled by “Islamic fanatics”. With the Iranian state taking a consistent stand against imperialist interference in the region and elsewhere, the pressure on Iran has been escalating. Iran has been seen as a major obstacle to the realisation of US and other imperialist designs to control the oil and resources of the region of Western and Central Asia.
In recent years, the efforts of the Iranian state to develop its nuclear energy program – something well within its rights as a sovereign state – has been the excuse for imperialism to portray Iran as a bloodthirsty power threatening the world with nuclear weapons. The major imperialist powers headed by the US have imposed crippling economic sanctions against Iran, using the UN also in their designs. These sanctions have been targeted against Iran’s oil industry – its major source of revenues – and its financial institutions. Countries like India, which is a major buyer of Iranian crude, have faced all kinds of difficulties in trying to pay for it, since pressure was put on Indian banks dealing with Iran.
However, the sanctions have not stopped Iran’s determination to go ahead with its own chosen course, and this has led to a renewed round of sanctions. Efforts by the imperialist powers to destabilise the Iranian government and install a regime more amenable to their interests, under the cover of the “Arab spring”, also failed, and this too has infuriated the imperialists. With the US and NATO forces trying to pull out their forces from Afghanistan after having failed to stabilise their occupation there, the imperialists are also worried about Iran’s influence on that country in the future. For all these reasons, the pressure on Iran is being increased to a furious pitch. US imperialism has given the green signal to its hatchet man in the region – the Israeli state – to threaten openly that it will launch pre-emptive strikes against Iran’s nuclear and other facilities. It is no secret that Israel and the CIA are involved in trying to sabotage these facilities from within, through bomb explosions and other means.
The working class and people of India must raise their voice against the absolutely illegitimate pressure and encirclement of Iran, a country with which India has long had close and friendly ties. The pressure on Iran is pressure to make all countries submit to the imperialist dictate and give up their sovereign right to pursue their own course of development. This is something that no self-respecting people can tolerate. The struggle of the Iranian people and government against this pressure and blackmail is just and must be supported.