We publish here a statement by the International Workers Unity-Fourth International (IWU-FI)
The assassination of the commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, General Qasem Soleimani, and several Iraqi Shiite leaders at Baghdad Airport, by missiles fired from drones, which the U.S. hypocritically called “defensive measures,” is part of the ongoing U.S. military intervention in the Middle East, either directly or through its main agent in the region, Israel.
For imperialism in general and the U.S. in particular, the domination of the Middle East is key because of its immense oil wealth, which provides a substantial part of the world’s energy. It should be remembered that the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003, under the presidency of George Bush, arguing that it had weapons that threatened the U.S. It finally had to withdraw its troops in 2011, but leaving military bases with 5,000 soldiers. Since then, the Iraqi government has been relatively dependent on Iran, and there is a permanent dispute for control of power. In recent months there has been a popular rebellion against that government, its corruption and antipopular economic policy.
Iran is, since the 1979 revolution that overthrew the pro-U.S. monarchy, a relatively independent country from imperialism, with a bourgeois Islamic leadership, from the Shiite branch, that is trying to establish itself as a regional power, permanently clashing with the U.S. and its allies Israel and Saudi Arabia. Its aspiration to develop nuclear energy was one of the points of discord and led to trade sanctions that blocked its oil sales. With Obama an agreement to limit nuclear development in exchange for eliminating sanctions was reached. To weaken Iran and strengthen his alliance with Israel, Trump broke that agreement, although the move was not supported by the European Union.
In Iran there is also a popular protest movement questioning the Islamic dictatorial regime and the economic problems being dumped on the workers.
For its part, imperialism under Donald Trump, increasingly resisted within the U.S. and with an impeachment process underway, is facing its own political crisis and all indications are that he is seeking some international “success” to strengthen a voting base in order to win the November elections this year.
The regional context of the Middle East is one of permanent war and popular rebellion in recent years. These include the people’s rebellion and the Syrian civil war (in which Iran intervened alongside Russia in direct support of the dictator Al-Assad), the civil war and genocidal intervention by Saudi Arabia with U.S. support in Yemen, while the rebels are supported by Iran, also the emergence of the Islamic state inside Iraq, which later spread to Syria, although today it is defeated.
In this explosive context, several events have taken place in the last few weeks: a missile attack on a U.S. base in Iraq, with the death of a U.S. soldier, and the attack on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, the capital of Iraq, by a mass demonstration. These events led, according to a U.S. Pentagon statement, to the bombing of the airport: “Under the direction of the President, the U.S. military has taken decisive defensive measures to protect personnel by killing Qasem Soleimani”.
We repudiate the assassination of General Qasem Soleimani and this hypocritical statement by the ultra-reactionary Trump. No one attacked the United States. It is the U.S. that continues its partial military occupation of Iraq and claims the “right” to bomb its main airport and produce a massacre. As we speak, we have received news that a new attack by the U.S. army on Baghdad would have left several dead and wounded.
Having no agreement with or support for the policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran, or the Iraqi government, we repudiate these criminal attacks and consider them part of the imperialist military action to bring the Middle East under their total domination. We call on the workers and peoples of the world to repudiate these attacks and to fight for the immediate withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Iraq and the Middle East, as they have only brought genocide and destruction.
Remove the U.S. troops from Iraq and the Middle East! We repudiate this criminal action ordered by the right-wing Trump!
International Unity of Workers (Fourth International)