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Iran protests reveal cracks in clerical regime's support

PRESSURE continued to mount on Iran’s reactionary regime yesterday as thousands poured onto the streets demanding democratic elections and the resignation of supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei.

The huge protests took place in major Iranian cities again yesterday after Iranian authorities made a stunning about-turn on Saturday, as they admitted to shooting down a Ukrainian passenger jet on Wednesday.

Previous government statements claimed that the allegations were Western propaganda aimed at discrediting the Iranian government.

But the Iranian regime backtracked and confirmed that the plane had been shot down by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in a “disastrous mistake.” It offered condolences to those who died while Ukraine and Canada have called for compensation for families.

Iran’s Tudeh Party warned that the Ayatollah Khamenei “does not have the authority to lead our country” and said that his rule “is a major obstacle to freedom, social justice and the development of our homeland.”

The party blames his direct support for neoliberal policies in Iran for bringing the national economy to its knees, leaving it less able to cope with punitive imperialist sanctions imposed by US President Donald Trump.

In a joint statement issued on Saturday, the Tudeh Party, the Communist Party USA and the Communist Party of Britain urged “the widest solidarity with the working class and people of Iran and Iraq in their difficult struggle through the dark days and months ahead.”

The parties called for an end to foreign intervention, which they said would only serve “reactionary right-wing forces in the region.”

“The threat of war further hurts the popular movements against corruption and mismanagement and for freedom and social justice in Iran, Iraq and other neighbouring countries. These have already been met with brutal and violent suppression.

“All-out war will rain death and destruction on millions of innocent people and quash their long struggle for basic rights and the possibility of determining a future of their own choosing. It is only in peace that the ordinary working people of countries such as Iran and Iraq can continue this struggle,” the statement said.

During the protests yesterday, large numbers of students gathered near Tehran University and chanted slogans such as: “Commander-in-chief, resign, resign,” “Soleimani the murderer… the Supreme Leader, a traitor,” “Khamenei the killer … His rule is illegitimate,” and “[IRGC] are criminals … the supreme leader supports them!”

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