Brief History of Iranian Trotskyists

A brief history of Iranian Trotskyism

The founders of Iranian Trotskyism became active in Britain in the late 1960s. In opposition to Stalinism, Maoism and the guerrillaist tendencies, they established an Iranian Commission within the USFI (United Secretariat of the Fourth International) and based their activity on the Transitional Programme and the first four congresses of the Comintern. They produced a theoretical and political journal called Kand-o Kav.

During the Iranian Revolution of 1979, there was a unity congress of the Iranian supporters of USFI in Europe and the supporters of the American Socialist Workers’ Party (SWP). In early 1979 the Iranian Socialist Workers’ Party (Hezb-e Kargaran-e Socialist – HKS) was launched. Within a few months, however, the SWP tendency (led by Babak Zahraie), began to have illusions in the Iranian bourgeois-clerical regime of Khomeini. The group from Europe were very critical of the USFI for the de facto support of a group that had developed illusions in the Khomeini regime. A split took place and the Babak Zahraie group continued its class-collaborationist activities under the name of the Revolutionary Workers Party (Hezb-e Kargaran-e Enghelabi – HKE) until they liquidated themselves a few years later.

After 1983 some HKS members were forced into exile and produced a document that was critical of the USFI’s policy and formally left it. Up to 1990 they produced Socialism va Enghelab (Socialism and Revolution), a theoretical journal. In 1991, Maziar Razi, one of the founders of HKS and SE, together with a section of comrades, reorganised themselves and published a regular workers’ paper which subsequently led  toKargar-e Socialist (Socialist Worker) and the formation of the Iranian Revolutionary Socialists’ League (IRSL). In September 2008 the Iranian Revolutionary Marxists’ Tendency(IRMT) was formed.

IRMT is currently the only Iranian Trotskyists organisation. The other ‘Trotskyists’ groups have all disappeared. The orientation of the IRMT is towards building a workers’ organisation in Iran. IRMT has a theoretical Journal (Didgah-e Socialism Enghelabi) and a publications team in Marxists Internet Archive (MIA-Farsi Section)  which has published the major works of Trotsky and IRMT leaders. Militaant is the IRMT’s monthly journal.

The detail of the political and organisational balance sheet of Iranian Trotskyists have been published in Farsi.


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