While social and political upheaval continues throughout Iran the Tudeh...the Communist Party banned for thirty?
While social and political upheaval continues throughout Iran the Tudeh...the Communist Party banned for thirty years is operating openly again. The Tudeh has thrown its support behind the country's religious leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and has offered the Ayatollah's Islamic Republican Party an alliance in a broad "Popular Revolutionary Front". Many Moslem nationalists however believe they cannot enter into any association with the Communists.
SYNOPSIS: This memorial service on Friday (11 May) for a Communist Party leader killed twenty-one years ago indicates the new public posture of the Tudeh.
One of the party members who attended the service was Safar Ghahramani freed early this year after thirty-one years in prison. The Tudeh was banned in 1949 but remained active. This service at the Behesht Zahra, the major cemetery in Teheran was in memory of a Captain Khosrov Rouzbeh, head of the military branch of the Tudeh, who was allegedly killed by the Shah's officers in prison in 1958. There were many who did not survive the Shah's jails and their relatives and friends paid tribute to them at the memorial service.
According to Reuters the Tudeh were once the most feared political force in Iran and it was their support for the late Nationalist Premier, Mohammed Mossadegh which in 1953 provoked the coup which brought the Shah back from his first exile. There is a strong anti-left wing feeling amongst many strict Moslems. The recent funeral of the late head of the Secret Revolutionary Council Ayatollah Motahari gunned down on May Day, turned into a huge anti left-wing demonstration by Moslems, blaming his assassination on the left. And the Ayatollah Khomeini has condemned the two mass circulation left wing daily newspapers which have been critical of the power of the mosques in the new government.