Faced with the escalation of the imperialist tensions over the Persian Gulf area, highlighting the confrontation between the USA, Iran and their respective allies, we adopt a recent update article from the ICT website, followed by a joint declaration by two other proletarian internationalist groups; the ‘Gulf Coast Communist Fraction’ (USA) and ‘Internationalist Voice’.
The Attack on Two Oil Tankers in the Gulf of Oman
On the morning of June 13, two oil tankers were attacked in the Gulf of Oman. One was the Front Altair, owned by the Norwegian company Frontline, but flying the flag of the Marshall Islands. It was carrying a cargo of ethanol from Qatar to Taiwan. The second was the Kokuka Courageous of the Japanese company, Kokuka Sangyo, flying the Panamanian flag which was carrying methanol from Saudi Arabia to Singapore.
A statement by the American Secretary of State for Defense, Pompeo, immediately blamed Iran for the attacks, calling the Islamic Republic a terrorist country which he said would receive a fitting response. At the same time, the Iranian Foreign Minister Javed Zarif replied that the American accusations are nothing more than a lie put around to increase Iran’s international isolation and to continue the policy of sanctions against Iran.
It’s just what you’d expect, two imperialisms accusing each other without there being any clear evidence on either side. We are not going to go into the jungle of hypotheses of who was responsible since we are trying to stick to the facts and the logic that flows from them.
First of all, it should be noted that this part of the ocean is among the most controlled in the world and the controller is the United States. For years it has had a naval base in Bahrain for its Fifth Fleet. It is thus no coincidence that, shortly after the attacks on the two oil tankers, an American ship, with the support of a jet fighter, was already on the spot filming the presence of an unidentified vessel, which, according to Pompeo, was defusing an unexploded mine from the side of the tanker, Kokuka Courageous. Anything is possible, but for an Iranian terrorist attack to get this far in such controlled waters, with the supposed removal of an unexploded bomb thrown in, is really difficult to believe.
Who would have an interest in attributing such an incident to the Islamic Republic regime? There are certainly quite a few, but three countries in particular are most interested. In this area, that is, in the area that goes from the Strait of Hormuz to the Persian Gulf, the greatest friction is certainly that between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Riyadh, both in the war in Syria and on other occasions, has intervened against the Assad regime, but above all against the Iranian troops who supported it, since the chief interest of the Saudis was to stem the advance of Iran, both in the Persian Gulf and towards the Mediterranean (Syria). In addition, in Riyadh’s schemes, the fight against Shi’ism has always been the banner under which it sought to demonstrate to the whole area the superiority of Sunni Islam, or rather, of the Saudis themselves with respect to their lesser cousins in other Sunni countries. The aim is to reaffirm their hegemonic role within OPEC and beyond. Therefore, the more isolated and embargoed Tehran remains, the more difficult it is for it to challenge the oil hegemony of Saudi Arabia, which, despite a crisis that has been dragging on for years, remains one of the countries with the largest oil revenues in the world.
Another country that has every interest in taking advantage of the American accusations against Iran is Israel. The Israeli state is experiencing a new, umpteenth honeymoon with the U.S., after a period in which relations between the two have not always enjoyed happy days. Trump has in fact erased the old theory (impossible anyway given the strenuous opposition of Israel) of the two-state solution which, in words at least, the previous administration had stuck to. Trump also sanctioned that Jerusalem would be the sole capital of the state of Israel and that the Golan Heights, conquered in the 1967 Six Day War, should belong definitively to Tel Aviv by right of “occupation”. In addition, Israel has also intervened in the Syrian war, not against Assad, but concentrating its countless raids against Tehran’s troops there. The aim is to weaken the Shi’a front that stretches from Iran, through Iraq, to Syria and Lebanon, where Hezbollah, the greatest enemies of Israeli imperialism exists. The latter has, at least in theory, always maintained that the condition for the birth of a Palestinian state is the destruction of the state of Israel.
Many observers have not excluded the possibility that the attack could be the work of the Israeli special forces under the careful supervision of the USA. With regard to the latter, it has the greatest interest in blaming the Iranians for the attacks because the fruits and benefits that fill the basket of sanctions against Iran are enormous and indispensable in this phase of resurgence of the international crisis and the increase in imperialist tensions. Washington is stepping up its fight against Tehran for a number of reasons. Top of the list, we should not forget is the “need” to wipe away the shame of 1979 (the Khomeini revolution), as a result of which American imperialism had to hastily flee from Iran, losing both face and a secure energy supply at a time when the American economy imported 40% of its oil needs, 30% of which came from Iran. Secondly, Iran is part of the gas-oil and military alliance with Russia and China which, to all intents and purposes, represents the opposite war front of both current and future, more intense and certainly more serious, disputes. In addition, the aggression of American imperialism against Iranian imperialism, as already mentioned, is instrumental in favor of Israel as a means of provocation in exchange for a series of concessions that are extremely useful to the Israeli mini-imperialism both for its territorial integrity and its strategic aims in Lebanon, the West Bank and the Golan. Ultimately, for the US, which, despite a series of economic and financial setbacks, seems to have become energy self-sufficient, the alliance with Saudi Arabia, while remaining alive, is less solid than previously due to opposing oil policies.
In conclusion, the attacks in the Gulf of Oman are yet another act of a war that is mounting with geometric progression. The U.S. wants at all costs to control the trade routes of gas and oil to the east, that is to say to the major consumers of raw energy materials, such as China, India and Japan. A good opportunity, therefore, to eliminate a competitor in the Gulf who is also threatening a military intervention. This is a game that goes beyond this single episode, however it may turn out, and that will stimulate responses from the opposing imperialisms of Russia, China and Iran. Hard times of crisis are turning into tragic times. Whether we like it or not, war is just around the corner. Only an international proletarian revolution can stop it, but for this to happen we need the presence of an international revolutionary party – a party which must be as international as the capitalist interests and their imperialist manifestations – like wars – are. In order for these not to remain empty words or repetitive slogans, it is necessary to commit ourselves, to work on building the alternative to this tragic state of affairs, otherwise we will suffer yet more barbarism from a capitalist beast that, even if it does not die, is ready to embrace total destruction.
FD, 15 June 2019
Recommended reading: D. Saadati, Iran and the USA on the Warpath? (background article, May 30, 2019)
Escalation of Imperialist Tensions, Capitalism Means War!
Joint Statement of ‘Gulf Coast Communist Fraction’ and ‘Internationalist Voice’
In recent months, we witnessed the rise of imperialist tensions between Iranian and American gangsters in the Persian Gulf region. On the one hand, the USA announced that it has received clear evidence that Iran is preparing itself to attack US forces in the Middle East. The USA has been sending out USS Abraham Lincoln and at the same time deploying several B-52 bombers (the most feared bomber of history) in Qatar, sending new troops to the area and … on the other hand we witnessed numerous attacks in the region. Attacking Katyusha near the US embassy in the protected and green area in Baghdad, a mortar attack on the al-Balad Air Base, and American forces stationed for training Iraqi forces, an attack on Katyusha in western Basra, which houses international oil companies. There is sabotage on four ships in Fujairah port, an attack on two tankers in the Oman Sea, and this list was completed by shooting down a super-advanced US spy Drone by Iran on June
30 20, 2019.
Both Trump and supreme leader of the Islamic bourgeois have emphasized that no war will take shape (notably with Trump’s decision to call off a strike). However, the irrefutable fact is that war is not the decision of the ignorant leaders, but the last resort of capitalism for its crisis. The economic boom of the 1950s and 1960s was the rebuilding of World War II devastation. The metropolitan Capital first attempts to transfer the consequences of the crisis to peripheral capitalism or to rivals, and in the next step, it will resort to its last solution (warfare). Since conditions are not currently available for the global war, wars take the form of regional wars. All this is due to the fact that the working class retreats as a global class of its class identity.
Following the victory of democracy over state capitalism, the USA was no longer able to apply its hegemony as it had during the Cold War. Therefore, it launched the wars in the Balkans, Afghanistan, Iraq and so on, in order to preserve its hegemony in the new world order and to weaken its rivals. The US withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and the nuclear crisis in the Korean Peninsula is moving in this direction. The US departure from JCPOA is in keeping with its desire to preserve its hegemony, which is further underlined as the USA re-emphasizes and reminds its rivals the European Union, China and Russia of its hegemony.
The confrontation and warfare between large and small gangsters is rooted in the upside- down capitalist system. In the era of capitalist decadence, the era of imperialism, the era of crisis and war, the effect of this rivalry between gangsters is to weaken each other. The bourgeoisie, through the fragmentation of our class and by encircling us with national borders, has persuaded us to line up behind them under the headings of America first, Iran first, France first, Russia first, China first, thus enabling them to continue to rule us. Of greater importance than a national identity is the fundamental property that is common across the globe, a common property of capitalist barbarism, that is, we belong to the working class and our property is being exploited and the production of surplus value is being extracted for capital accumulation. We belong to the exploited camp, we are siblings, whether we are in Tehran, in New York, in Jerusalem or in London. Our enemy is the bourgeoisie at our home.
This is why we condemn leftists (the left wing of capital) who cannot help but support national factions in imperialist conflicts under the guise of proletarian interests. We proletarian communists have nothing in common with those of the leftist milieu who participate in activist social events rallying in support of the Iranian bourgeoisie in the name of farcical “anti-imperialism.” There is no “anti-imperialist” underdog that can undermine the capitalist order in the epoch of imperialism as a world system.
Only the intensification of the class struggle can bring about an improvement in our living conditions and, by expanding the class struggle to other countries, can challenge the capitalist system. Only the advancement of the working class towards a communist revolution aimed at pulling down the miserable system of capitalism will deliver a world without imperialist tensions and without its wars around the world; a world free of nuclear weapons. This would be a world without war, class and wage slavery; a world that humanity deserves.
Down with the war!
Down with capitalism!
Long live the class struggle from Tehran to Jerusalem, from London to New York!
Gulf Coast Communist Fraction & Internationalist Voice, 22 June 2019
Gulf Coast Communist Fraction:
For the web-addresses of these groups see “groups and publications“
A comment by the ‘Arbeidersstemmen’ blog
It is significant for the ‘revolutionary milieu’ of groups invoking the Communist Left that they have published little or nothing about the step towards global war that is now taking place in the Persian Gulf. Hardly any articles, let alone common explanations, like those of both groups above. It is no coincidence that it is precisely these theoretically and numerically weak groups that – perhaps exactly because they do not dogmatically cling to old truths – are able to make a common statement that sets the proletarian internationalism of the world proletariat against the threat of a devastating large-scale war. The ‘Fraction’ has previously responded to one of many [hectic] attempts by ‘Internationalist Voice’ to draw critical lessons from the recent wave of labor struggles in the Middle East, particularly in Iran. This workers’ struggle in the middle of an area rich in oil and gas, and therefore an imperialist hot-spot, showed a tendency to turn against the war in a way that may not have corresponded to the orthodox canons of various left-wing communist sects, but, in the confused way that is typical of any revolutionary mass struggle, sought the way to an independent workers’ struggle against crisis and war.
Arbeidersstemmen/Arbeiterstimmen, June 25, 2019
(This article was last updated on July 20, 2019)