Iranian Communist Party

Iranian Communist Party


(ICP, Hezb-e Kom-munist-e Iran), founded in June 1920, at a congress of the Social Democratic party, Adalat, in the town of Enzeli. The party program set itself the goal of liberating Iran from imperialist domination, annulling the enslaving Anglo-Iranian Treaty of 1919, overthrowing the Qajar dynasty, and eliminating largescale feudal landholding. After the congress the party joined the Comintern.

Because of leftist-deviation influences, serious errors were committed by the ICP leadership in 1920: they called for the immediate carrying out of a socialist revolution in Iran and for the confiscation of land not only of the large landlords but also of small landowners—without considering that the objective conditions for such measures had not been created. Propaganda was prematurely conducted against Islam. The adventurist elements were expelled from the Central Committee in October 1920, and a new Central Committee membership was elected, headed by Haydar Khan Amu-ogly.

The Iranian Communists were active in the national liberation movement in Iran between 1920 and 1922. After the assumption of power by Reza Shah Pahlavi in 1925, the ICP was subjected to repression. The second congress of the party (held illegally in 1927) adopted a new program and rules, theses on the agrarian and national problems, and a decision on activities among workers, youth, and women.

Between 1929 and 1931 the ICP led the strike movement in Iran. In May 1931 the government enacted a law banning Communist activities. Many active members of the party and the majority of the ICP Central Committee were arrested. In 1934 the ICP again resumed work under the leadership of Taqi Erani. In 1937 the party was again subjected to repression; the party and trade union organizations were broken up and activists thrown into prison. In 1938 a trial was held of the leaders of the ICP (“Trial of the 53”), and in 1940 Erani was murdered in prison.

Tudeh (the People’s Party of Iran), founded in 1941, became the successor of the ICP.


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