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Digital Archive International History Declassified

January 08, 1955


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    This letter describes the failure of the People's Party of Iran to act upon an opportunity to defeat the Shah's forces in Iran, and elaborates on what caused this lack of success. At the end, the People's Party of Iran appeals to other communist parties to get involved in helping them.
    "Soviet Translation, Letter, 'To the Press Department for Transmission to the International Bureau of Communist Parties' (Attachment)," January 08, 1955, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, RGANI, f. 5, op. 28, d. 347. Department for Relations with Foreign Communist Parties (International Department of the Central Committee), 1953-1957, microfilm, reel 83. Contributed by Roham Alvandi and translated by Gary Goldberg.Contributed by Roham Alvandi and translated by Gary Goldberg.
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Translation from the Persian


In the name of the struggle of the peoples I request you transmit this letter /Siyamak Piras/

Comrades from the Secretariat!

I apologize that I am forced to touch on and describe here the essence of this great and important question and avoid the expression "A word to the wise is sufficient".

Possibly you are already familiar through the press with the situation of Iran in the last year and a half and know how we have lost a big opportunity and thereby caused harm to our people and the camp of peace and socialism. On the 28th of Mordad (19 August 1953) our Party, that is, the glorious People's Party of Iran, the heir of the revolutionary struggle of [Babek], Mukanna, and Mazyar in ancient history and the constitutional movement in modern history, could not tear Iran away from the clutches of the imperialists at a time when our people were fully ready for this and the enemy's ranks were in confusion, on account of the ideological errors of some leaders. (One ought to turn to the brochure, "The 28th of Mordad", for an explanation of the ideological errors).

It is necessary to see what happened. During such a difficult period of history the Party masses also could not realize this mistake because the Party masses did not delve into political and ideological issues, and thanks to the fact that the Party masses had never been faced with the burning questions, both political and theoretical, which every one has. What happened after the 28th of Mordad? Nothing! The leaders were leading a big herd. (It is not worth arguing about an example). A pack of wolves appeared far away, attacked the herd, and destroyed part of it. The shepherds lost their heads and hid in a corner. No matter how much they fought one another they could not come to any decision and part of the herd fell into the claws of the wolves, and the rest, the majority, were scattered, and look at the world of socialism and the Union of Soviet [Socialist] Republics from different little corners. After the 28th of Mordad we vacillated until the enemy seized the people's barricade. Now already 50-60% of Party members, especially the revolutionary-minded Party members, have cut their ties with the Party. The remaining 40-50% of Party members maintain insignificant communications of little value. Of course, these estimates concern those comrades who still remained in the Party. But even before the 28th of Mordad more than one-third, possibly even one half, of the Party members took a negative position and left the Party. It is a big shortcoming that the Party does not to pay attention to the reasons for this disintegration, the lack of comrades' confidence, the incorrect and illogical policy which it began to pursue; it wants to kill the patient by force, without taking into account and without eliminating the causes of this, which is characteristic of the bourgeoisie (SIC - [Soviet] translator).

But here the opposite resulted.

What needs to be done?

1. In the last year and a half the CC has issued many brochures, the majority of which contradict one another. In the last of them it admitted that the defeat of the 28th of Mordad was like the defeat which the Chinese Revolution suffered at the first stage. The CC also admitted that some positions of the "28th of Mordad" brochure regarding the leadership of the revolution were mistaken. Thus, a mistake of the leadership apparatus was admitted. Accordingly, in order to win the trust of the Party masses and especially our people, it should have checked up on the people responsible for these mistakes. If these mistakes were made unconsciously or not. If these mistakes were made consciously then it is necessary to strictly punish the people responsible for these mistakes. If these mistakes were made unconsciously, then these people need to be removed, at least from responsible posts and everyone notified about this without fear. As Cde. Stalin said, Party discipline is violated as a result of mistaken management by the governing apparatus. At the present time the situation is such when the discipline and the faith of Party members are shaken.

2. To date the leadership apparatus has shown that it does not have Bolshevik decisiveness. This is because it has no experienced leaders of the worker's movement. Possibly it will be said that the Party ought to raise such leaders. This is correct, but only on one condition, that is, when there is democracy in the Party. The Central Committee should be reorganized and such leaders as Cde. Radmanesh, Cde. Tabari, Cde. Kasemi, should be used in work inside the country.

3. Absolutely no democracy exists in the Party. Any criticism is sharply repressed without taking into account whether it is correct or not, at a time when incorrect criticism should not be suppressed but be exposed by our logic.

4. The existence of groups and factions in the Party is striking. In a majority of cases the relations between comrades are based on principles completely in contradiction to Marxism-Leninism.

5. The entire Party, beginning with the cells, is seized by an apathy and liberalism which is inherent to the bourgeoisie.

In any event, from what I see nearby and in the public I suggest that at a suitable moment the national bourgeoisie will leave us behind and pull us after them again. [We] ought to think about this.

Comrades! Get involved in this matter as much as possible.

We are confident of victory.

The letter was received by the Embassy in the mail; written on the envelope was "Sender - the editorial board of the newspaper "IRANSHAH".

3.X. (24 December 1954).

Translated [signature]  (V. Pankratov)


8 January 1955


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