GORDON BROWN’S recent bellicose, anti-Iran speech in the Israeli Knesset is part of a ratcheting up of pressure which could lead to the nightmare scenario of an attack on Iran. This crucial question was raised at the 19 July Stop the War Coalition (StW) steering committee.
The vast majority of British working-class and young people oppose further military adventures. An air strike or any kind of imperialist intervention in Iran, either by Israel, the US or UK will face huge popular opposition.
Resistance to a new offensive would coalesce with existing anger over the lies about Iraq, attacks on public-sector workers and services, and other issues.
When Tony Blair failed to condemn the Israeli attack on Lebanon in 2006 he faced massive opposition which poured onto the streets at very short notice. Knowing the consequences for the ordinary people of the Middle East and beyond, an attack on Iran would meet even bigger opposition movements.
The hypocrites in Bush and Brown’s governments who say these wars are necessary will portray any opposition to an attack as support for the reactionary Iranian regime. They behaved similarly in 2003 in the build-up to attacking Iraq, trying to equate opposition to the war with support for Saddam Hussein.
But the Socialist Party opposes the brutal imperialist military actions of the US and UK while also being critical of the reactionary Iranian regime. Instead, we stand in solidarity with the working and oppressed masses in Iran and across the planet.
In this climate of heightened tension, StW must maintain its opposition to war with Iran. This was agreed at the steering committee. Unfortunately, however, a motion from the StW officers included the following:
“The guidance to branches is that the Coalition wants to hear from, and work with, all the representatives of different political trends in Iranian society. But STW platforms should not be used to organise debates about the nature of the Iranian regime.
We want to utilise our limited resources to organise against imperialist threats to the Iranian people. The Coalition will listen to all Iranian voices, but prioritise those who accept the limits of our platform.”
While most of this motion deals with the question of a military attack, this clause and other points towards the end, could be used by the anti-war movement’s enemies to create an impression that, by limiting criticism of Iran’s regime, we support it.
It can also give the impression that democracy and the right to question, discuss and debate in the anti-war movement is restricted. This will make it less attractive to thousands of young and working people who are looking for answers as well as action on the way forward for the movement against war.
For these reasons Socialist Party members voted against the motion while supporting a campaign against a military attack on Iran.