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THE Tudeh Party of Iran has paid tribute to a “tireless militant” following the death of its longstanding leader Ali Khavari, aged 97.
Khavari “never gave up his duty as a party soldier” in nearly eight decades of revolutionary activity, it said.
The veteran communist, who joined the Tudeh party in 1941, began a long exile from Iran before the 1953 coup orchestrated by the US and Britain, when the elected government of Mohammed Mossadegh was overthrown and and a royal dictatorship of shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi installed.
After a period teaching Farsi in Beijing and founding a Farsi-language radio station to promote the Tudeh party, he was sent back to Iran to organise underground resistance.
Arrested and sentenced to death, he ended up jailed for 15 years and was tortured while behind bars. He was among the last political prisoners released on the eve of the 1979 Iranian revolution, during which he organised the party’s work in the capital Tehran and was elected to the politburo.
Khavari was then sent to work for the international communist Peace & Socialism magazine based in Prague, meaning he was abroad when Iran’s theocratic new regime arrested thousands of communists and suspected sympathisers in early 1983, executing many of them.
As the only surviving central committee secretary, he played a pivotal role in rebuilding the Tudeh party, becoming its first secretary and acting as a mentor to countless younger communists. He died in Berlin on Friday.
“His pure, human and resolute beliefs ... are an invaluable and everlasting spiritual inheritance that the Tudeh militants will cherish in their struggle until the final victory,” the party said.
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