Four workers from a copper smelter were killed and dozens were injured while engaging in a peaceful sit-in protest at the plant’s entrance in Khatunabad in southeastern Iran Jan. 25. The workers were demanding that management fulfill its promise of permanent jobs for the smelter’s 1,500 temporary workers.

The workers were brutally attacked by the local police and special intelligence forces of the ruling regime of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, according to a statement by the Tudeh Party of Iran. Local authorities blamed an “unknown motorcycle bikers’ group” for the attack on the workers.

The Tudeh Party said that the attack is a symptom of the ruling regime’s desperation in the face of growing resistance to its anti-people policies and a deteriorating economy.

“We call upon all progressive forces, and particularly trade unions all around the world, to send protest letters to the regime’s embassies to condemn this criminal act,” the Tudeh Party statement said. In the U.S., the Iran Interests Section is located in the Embassy of Pakistan, 2209 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20007.