On the U.S. threats against Iran
March 4, 2004
Transcript of interview on TV
International conducted by Fariborz Pooya
while host Maryam Namazie is away until
March. The guest, Hamid Taqvaee, is the leader of the Worker-Communist
Fariborz Pooya: What are the aims
and objectives of the US government's threat on Iran? Is it only
because of the
nuclear facilities of
the Islamic Republic of Iran or do they have a wider objective
in this regard?
Hamid Taqvaee: As you have said, the US is undoubtedly not pleased
with the Islamic Republic of Iran having nuclear weapons. However
I don't think this is the main reason for the US' threat. It is
similar to what happened recently in Iraq - the USA did not declare
its real motives for its attack on Iraq either. The USA says it
is threatening military attack because the Islamic regime is developing
nuclear weapons. However, I think the main reason is to make the
Islamic Republic submit to US' policies in the Middle East.
main problem is the Islamic regime's role specifically in Iraq
and Palestine. These are the two key issues the US is concerned
about. The main aim of the US is to force the Islamic regime
to back off and play within the framework of US foreign policy
the Middle East. The USA has also mention human rights in Iran.
This is merely propaganda and for public and media consumption
in the same way that weapons of mass destruction were in Iraq.
We need to look deeper and go beyond these to find out the main
reasons behind the USA's threat.
Fariborz Pooya: So you are saying that the broader objective behind
the US threat is not necessarily nuclear weapons nor human rights
violation in Iran, but the broader objective of US efforts to prevent
the Islamic Republic of Iran and political Islam from having an
influence in the Middle East specifically in Palestine and Iraq.
We know that in Iraq, Iran is busy in the south organising the
Islamic movement to establish a religious government in Iraq. But
we see that in Iraq the US is happy to accommodate the Islamic
movement. Is the US policy to change the Islamic regime in Iran
or reduce its influence?
Hamid Taqvaee: The US has serious concerns with what the Islamic
Republic is striving for in Iraq. Of course, in Iraq they have
an Islamic government and it was obvious that they were going to
have that - as long as it is a 'friendly' Islamic state as far
as US foreign policy is concerned. That is the same sort of Islamic
Republic they want to see in Iran, something unlike Al-Sadr, but
like Sistani. That is the main reason and the key issue as far
as relations between the US and the Islamic Republic is concerned.
I do not think that they want to get rid of the Islamic Republic
in Iran. That is not their goal.
This would create a political
vacuum and the US is not sure what direction it would go. We
know there is a mass popular Leftist movement against the Islamic
in Iran and the US is not sure that if they topple the Islamic
Republic whether they will be able to control this mass movement.
That is the difference between Iran and Iraq. So that is the
main reason why they are not after the entirety of the regime in
They want the regime to change somehow. They want to have some
sort of Islamic regime similar to what they have in Afghanistan
or what they may have in Iraq now. I think that is their main
Fariborz Pooya: In the resolution you say that the military threat
is not highly likely or immediate. Is it your assessment that the
military intervention is just a threat?
Hamid Taqvaee: I think they might use military action, but I
do not think it to be probable. That will be their last resort.
They will try all diplomatic means at their disposal first. In
this respect it is different from what happened in Iraq. In Iraq,
they knew that Saddam and his regime were ready for anything; politically,
they wanted to invade Iraq and topple the Baathist regime in Iraq;
they said it and did it.
In Iran they are not saying that they
are after the regime, and I do not think they are. In Iran they
are after a political and diplomatic solution. That is the way
they want to settle the question, because Iran, geo-politically
is very different and more important than any other country in
the region. The stability of Iran is extremely crucial for the
export of oil from the Gulf to the rest of the world.
these are barriers; if they invade Iran, the whole region, politically
and economically, would be in disarray. They are aware of these
factors. The path they want to follow to achieve their goal
is mainly diplomatic. Again, in this respect the situation is different
from what we had in Iraq.
Fariborz Pooya: We know one of the current characteristics of
Iranian society today is the strong popular movement for the overthrow
of the regime. What would be the impact of a US military attack
on this movement and the balance of forces between the popular
movement and the Islamic regime?
Hamid Taqvaee: The very mention of the threat is a negative factor.
It has always been so in Iran. It changes the issue at hand. Before
the issue of the US attack on the Islamic Republic, people were
actively opposing the regime; we had a strong and widespread popular
Almost all sections of the society from students, teachers,
workers, nurses, women, and so on were part of this widespread
and strong movement for the regime's overthrow. As soon as the
US intervenes in this situation, it changes the factors and issues
to something else. It acts as a barrier to the popular movement.
It can potentially change the whole situation, especially if
they act militarily. Then everything will be changed radically
suspend the people's movement.
The people of Iran are not being represented in this war-like
situation. In this situation, the role of the communists and the
Left is to prevent people from returning to their homes and to
urge them to be present on the streets; the mass movement should
continue and be even more radical and progressive against both
sides of this war. However, the fact remains that this war is against
the people of Iran. Both sides are against the revolution; we will
do our best to prevent this from taking place.
Fariborz Pooya: So this war will have a negative impact and is
against the people of Iran, and the Left, progressive and socialist
movement would try to prevent this war. As a final question, Hamid
Taqvaee, what is your message to the progressive public opinion
in the west?
Hamid Taqvaee: My message to the people in Iran and all over
the world is that both sides are against the progressive movement
in Iran. The people of Iran are not represented in this war. The
US has its own policy which has made a mess in the Middle East.
You see what has happened in Iraq and Afghanistan. We will not
let the same thing happen in Iran. As far as the Islamic Republic
of Iran is concerned, people have 25 years experience of this most
brutal oppression in Iran and for them, the regime must go. But
not through US intervention. This is a war between two camps of
On the one side, you have western state terrorism and
on the other, Islamic terrorism and political Islam. Both sides
have been active against each other and both are against people
all over the world. As far as Iran is concerned, people should
know that supporting either side will not solve any of their
problems. This war has nothing to do with what people really want
people should organise, be active and loudly and clearly declare
that they are against both sides of this war. The war should
not take place and if it happens it must be stopped immediately.