by Peter Symonds
17 June 2009
The political crisis unfolding in Iran raises fundamental issues for the working class. The outcome of last Friday’s presidential election has exposed a sharp rift within the country’s clerical regime between the backers of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and those of his chief rival, Mirhossein Mousavi.
No one should be hoodwinked by the “colour revolution” being carefully orchestrated by the Mousavi camp to overturn the election result and demand a fresh poll. While there are tactical differences between Ahmadinejad and Mousavi, both are tested defenders of the existing regime and the interests of the Iranian bourgeoisie.
As it has in the past, US imperialism is seeking to exploit the political turmoil in Iran to bring about a modification of the regime more favourable to its economic and strategic interests—in the first place, to secure greater Iranian support for its neo-colonial occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq.
If Mousavi were to pull off his “colour revolution,” the first to bear the brunt would be the working class and the poor, as the new regime sought to rein in public spending, privatise state-owned enterprises and guarantee the profits of local businesses and foreign investors. The barely concealed class hostility of Mousavi and his well-heeled supporters to working people is summed in their open contempt towards Ahmadinejad’s meagre handouts to the poor.