President Raisi has died, but the Axis of Resistance lives on!

The masses everywhere have lost a great friend, but the strategy he followed and the ties he forged continue to pay dividends.

Proletarian writers

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President Raisi’s loss is mourned all over the world, as the anti-imperialist camp loses one of its staunchest champions. Nevertheless, Iran’s strategic patience and steadfast resilience continues to pay dividends in the middle east and beyond.

Proletarian writers

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On 19 May 2024, President Sayyid Ebrahim Raisi of the Islamic Republic of Iran lost his life in a helicopter crash along with several companions, including Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian.

We in the CPGB-ML send our deep condolences to the heroic Iranian people on the occasion of this great tragedy, which is all the greater at because it comes at a time when Iran is working tirelessly to support the Palestinian people and the middle-eastern Axis of Resistance while refusing to allow the rabid zionist leaders of Israel to create a pretext for dragging US forces directly into a wider regional war.

We are confident that the Axis of Resistance will continue unbowed despite this heavy blow.

Reactions reveal the global divide

This sudden tragedy was a truly painful blow for the Iranian people. After Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, President Raisi and Foreign Minister Amir-Abdollahian were the foremost representatives of Iranian policy on the international stage. Both men were associated with Iran’s Principalist camp, which supports a strong anti-imperialist and internationalist policy abroad alongside greater welfare provisions at home.

The reaction to the president’s untimely demise were a telling reflection of global contradictions. According to corporate western media, which were disgustingly jubilant over Raisi’s death, as were many supposedly progressive ‘alternative’ media, Raisi was a “dictator” and a “butcher” who oversaw thousands of executions (this is in fact a reference to the successful suppression of a rebellion by the CIA/Mossad-backed MEK terrorist cult in 1988).

President Raisi was also routinely denounced for his government’s alleged “repression of women”. Little actual evidence has ever been presented for this claim beyond the existence of a now barely enforced mandatory headscarf law and the case of the unfortunate lady who had a fatal stroke in a police station (CCTV footage and independent coroners’ reports indicated no foul play).

Perhaps even more rabid and vitriolic than the media were the self-identifying ‘socialist’ and ‘communist’ organisations in the west, most of which routinely jettison any pretence of anti-imperialism as soon as Iran is mentioned. These charlatans were united in hysterically raging against the record of a lifelong internationalist, and they predictably centred their condemnation on talking points lifted directly from the imperialist media.

On the other hand, the reaction from the non-imperialist world was overwhelmingly one of grief and sympathy for the people of Iran on the loss of an honest and sincere leader who devoted his life to promoting their welfare. Raisi was renowned for having actively supported the cause of the oppressed in Palestine, Yemen, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba and throughout the world.

Even before the president’s death had been confirmed, President Vladimir Putin had offered Russian expertise to aid the rescue mission, which was searching for the president’s fallen helicopter. Russian experts are believed to be assisting in the investigation into what happened to the helicopter.

Normally, in cases of police investigation, one looks for people with means, motive and opportunity. It is not hard to see where such lines of investigation would point, but it is clear that Iran has no intention of jumping to conclusions or being jostled into precipitous action.

Meanwhile, condolences poured in from China to Venezuela for a man who tirelessly worked to undo the damage done by previous neoliberal ‘reformist’ governments.

“The Chinese people have lost a great friend,” said China’s President Xi Jinping, adding: “President Raisi has made important contributions to maintaining Iran’s security and stability, promoting national development and prosperity, and also made active efforts to consolidate and develop the China-Iran comprehensive strategic partnership.”

President Raisi realigned Iran’s towards its natural allies in Moscow and Beijing, overseeing the country’s admission to the Brics and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) groups and ended previous administrations’ obsession with trying to build friendly relations with a relentlessly aggressive and hostile USA.

Raisi was often described as being a “hardliner”, as opposed to the west-leaning “reformists” more palatable to US imperialism. Comrades who lived through the years of Mikhail Gorbachev’s ‘reforms’ in the USSR will understand very well what is meant by such weasel words.

To the imperialists, any political leader promoting the interests of their own people, pursing a path of sovereignty and independence; any political leader trying to join their country with other oppressed and independent nations; any political leader refusing to be intimidated by the paper tigers and glass palaces of the decadent western financiers, is inevitable slammed as a ‘hardline’, ‘inflexible’ ‘dictator’. A political leader who is unprincipled, can be bought and is enraptured by the apparent glitz and glamour of the west is lauded as a ‘courageous’ and ‘revolutionary’ ‘reformist’.

This is how words are separated from their meanings in the decaying days of senile capitalist rule.

It is salutary to see how many so-called ‘anti-imperialist socialists’, and even many politicians within the oppressed world, struggle to grasp this reality. Imperialism does not care a jot about women’s headscarves, nor about secular governance, about human rights or the future of the planet.

These are merely pretexts to hide the real issue, which is that Iran is a powerful, resource-rich country that refuses to submit control of its economy to imperialism and has pursued an unashamedly internationalist policy more fearlessly even than many socialist nations.

President Raisi and Ayatollah Khamenei understood this very well, and that is why these two men were singled out for such a special degree of hatred by the imperialist media.

A leading role in the Axis of Resistance

Only a month before his death, President Raisi had proved his mettle once again by standing firm in the face of Israel’s criminal assassination of Iranian military leaders who were meeting at an Iranian embassy in Syria. The message he sent to the genocidal aggressors was clear: if you provoke us too far, we have the means to destroy your military machinery entirely.

The triumphalism of the west may just be opportunistic schadenfreude. But, as in all things, the truth will out eventually. For the time being, it is clear that Iran will not let its hand be forced. Despite the horrific civilian casualties in Gaza, the war against zionism is currently being waged in such a way as to minimise the destruction of the region whilst maximising the damage to the zionist entity and its backers – militarily, economically, politically and in the court of world public opinion.

We have no doubt that Iran’s strategic patience will ultimately bear fruit. The Al-Aqsa Flood resistance operation launched by the fighters of Palestine on 7 October has highlighted the weakness of Israel and its backers on every front. This has begun a process that will end not only with the destruction of the Israeli state and the establishment of a free Palestine on the land from the river to the sea, but with the eviction of US imperialism from the entire middle-eastern region.

Long live the Axis of Resistance!
Long live the just and heroic struggle of the Palestinian people and the peoples of west Asia to free themselves from the stranglehold of monopoly capital!