The similarity between events taking place in recent months and those in the period between August 2002 and March 2003 is terrifying.

The emotive charge of Iranian involvement in support of terrorist activities in Iraq costing the lives of 170 U.S. military personnel is designed to convince public opinion in the United States. and the European Union that George Bush and his neocon allies are justified in targeting Iran for military action.

This “new” approach in U.S. policy towards the region is in total negation of the much publicized and talked about report issued by the Iraq Study Group, led by James Baker, in December. Instead of following the report’s recommendations, which were aimed at presenting an exit strategy for the administration, arguing in favor of a constructive engagement with Iran and Syria, the Bush administration has opted to coerce the two governments into accepting U.S. hegemony in the Middle East and submitting to it.

UN Security Council Resolution 1737 was the first important step in escalating the confrontation with Iran. In expressing our concern about the hardening of U.S. policies against Iran, we said that, ”if this trend is not stopped promptly, it will lead to dire problems for our country.”

The Tudeh Party of Iran has publicly stated that “in a dangerous and important situation such as this, the way to work towards the national interests and security of the country is to observe people’s basic rights.” We pointed out that, “despite the regime’s propaganda, achieving nuclear technology for peaceful purposes — which is an inalienable right of our nation — has now been jeopardized due to its reactionary policies and has become an excuse for colonialists to meddle in the internal affairs of our nation.”

The Tudeh Party has declared openly before, and stresses again, that it “strongly opposes any military attack under any pretext and the imposition of sanctions against Iran, which will only harm the people. The solution to the current crisis is not escalation of the crisis.”

While it is true that the Iranian regime has been reckless in the manner that it has conducted its policies in relation to winning international acceptance for Iran’s undeniable right to develop its nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, and on other foreign policy issues, the U.S. accusations serve only to justify U.S. hegemonistic interests in the region.

It is our view that provocative and empty slogans of some officials of the Iranian regime and unrealistic foreign policies followed by the Iranian government not only will obstruct the attainment of the interests of the Iranian people, but could also result in a global consensus that would help to advance imperialist policies in the region and against Iran.

The Bush administration is trying desperately to justify its militaristic plans in the Persian Gulf region and in particular in relation to Iran. The new U.S. accusations against Iran are part of a sinister campaign by the Bush government to prepare public opinion in the West, and in particular in the U.S., for a more punitive approach towards our country. It is important to note that the recent pronouncements about Iran’s involvement come on the heels of much publicized visits by Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to the region, seeking to cobble together an alliance of Arab countries to support Bush’s discredited plans.

Let’s make no mistake. The U.S. is known for fabricating convenient “evidence” to justify its criminal policies in the past, and no one should believe that this time is different. The discredited evidence presented by the U.S. Secretary of State in September 2002 about the existence of Iraqi biological weapons laboratories, in order to justify preparation for a military offensive against Iraq, is one case we should not forget.

Now, the manner in which the “evidence” against Iran was presented, the anonymity of the officials providing it, and many unanswered questions about the involvement of shadowy groups in the whole affair are clear indications of the motives of the U.S. administration. They want to justify their militaristic approach in relation to Iran. But no amount of “evidence” could justify a military solution. The Iranian people totally reject war and believe that the only way forward is through negotiations and dialogue.

The Tudeh Party of Iran is against any military adventure in the region and considers any intensification of military-political conflict in the region to be against the interests of the people of Iran and the Middle East region and of global peace. We have called upon all the progressive and democratic forces in our country to unite and to step up their efforts to defend the sovereignty and democratic development of our country, and to oppose and confront provocative, interventionist and militaristic policies of any force within the country or internationally.

The Tudeh Party believes that the united effort of the popular movement of our people to build a democratic, progressive and modern Iran can only be expanded in a peaceful environment in the region and in the world.

Navid Shomali is secretary of the International Department
of the Tudeh Party of Iran (Party of the Masses), Iran’s Communist Party.