[Marxism] First-hand view of modern Iran

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Sat Apr 22 08:21:24 MDT 2006

This article links you to two speeches given at a Workers World
forum in New York City by two Iranians who hadn't been back in
their home country since the 1979. The report gives listeners a
sense of what they saw during their visit. They are struck by 
the great deal of economic progress they observe. They say that
people in Iran today have running water, electricity, television
sets and washing machines and dryers. They also report on Iran's
growing automobile industry, and they warn you not to try to 
drive there since the streets are overwhelmed with cars, some of
these are for domestic and others for export. Last year at the
Havana trade fair I met an Iranian young man - in his thirties - 
who was there representing an Iranian automotive and agricultural
implement manufacturing company. Cars, tractors and other farm
equipment was on display. There's also a joint venture with a
Venezuelan company. One of the interesting elements was a report 
that the government put out workers to provide repairs to cars
on the highways, at no charge to the public. The reporter also
says he saw lots of food available to the population. The U.S.
government doesn't allow Iranian research papers to be published
in the United States. 

A second speaker, the wife of the first, gives impressions of
the status of women in Iran today. Both speakers gave me the
clear impression that the Iranian public would be very strongly
opposed to any kind of U.S. interverntion in Iran. The traffic
in Iran is horrendous and scary. But there aren't many cops to
enforce traffic laws. 

He also reported that there's plenty of corruption and people
getting rich in Iran. He's no admirer of the Islamic Republic,
but says he cannot help but recognize the progress which has
been made in Iran in recent years. He also provides a survey of
the ethnic differences within Iranian society: Aryians, Kurd,
Turks, among whom there intermarriage is normal. Washington 
hopes to capitalize on the differences within Iranian society
as is happening in Iraq today. The speaker thinks that the U.S.
isn't certain it could defeat Iran militarily as it did Iraq.
He thinks waging war is not on the agenda in Iran. Iran has
three-times the population of Iraq, is mountainous, and there
is broad international support for the Iranian people. Maybe
not the government. The Iranian government has established
relations with Russia, China, South Africa, Syria, Cuba and
Venezuela. There are movements in the Middle East such as
Hezbollah because they, too, support Iran and he feels would
support Iran

Most of us who haven't been to Iran and can only rely on media
reports cannot know what's really going on there. 

First-hand view of modern Iran
Published Apr 21, 2006 11:42 PM


Ardeshir Ommani and Ellie Ommani spoke at an April 14 Workers World
Party forum in New York about their recent trip to Iran. It was
Ardeshir Ommani's first trip back to his country of birth since he
left in 1981.

Both speakers described the enormous industrial development and
provision of services-running water, sewage treatment, roads and
transportation, and electricity-to the mass of the population that
has taken place under the Islamic Republic since 1981. They also made
it clear that while there was not 100 percent support for the Islamic
government, each time Washington politically attacks or militarily
threatens Iran the population grows closer to its own government,
because the public is committed to the use of atomic energy to
generate power for the country.

-Story and photos by John Catalinotto

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