Below are short biographies of three Iranian political prisoners who strongly oppose any imperialist intervention in Iran as well as internal state repression and any regional imperialist intervention by Iran or other Middle Eastern states. Each of these prisoners symbolizes an important aspect of the struggle for social justice and against religious dictatorship, authoritarianism and militarism.
More than a dozen political prisoners, including prisoners of conscience, have gone on hunger strike to protest the cruel, inhuman and degrading conditions they have been forced to endure at a maximum-security prison in Karaj, Alborz province.
There is no doubt that there are divisions within the Iranian ruling class concerning economic and political approaches. There is no doubt that Iran’s capitalism is inefficient. There is no doubt that the IRGC acts like a Mafia band. However, currently, it seems that the IRGC, the government (president and parliament) and the Guardian Jurist, are all united around the goal of preserving a strong state with a smaller social welfare sector and a much larger military sector.
The coming together of Qatar, Iran and Turkey against Saudi Arabia and its allies, showed that coalitions now forming to compete with each other are not strictly based on the Shi’a-Sunni divide. The alliances currently confronting each other are fighting over the control of the region, its capital, and aim to repress any movements for social justice.
At a time when the Trump administration’s bellicose language about Iran is raising serious concerns, it is important not to equate opposition to U.S. imperialism with support for Iran’s repressive regime and its own regional imperialist wars. There is an Other Iran that needs to be defended.