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Digital Archive International History Declassified

November 08, 1979

INFORMATION ABOUT A CONVERSATION OF COMRADE HERMANN AXEN, MEMBER OF THE POLITBURO AND SECRETARY OF THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE, WITH COMRADE NUREDDIN KIANOURI, FIRST SECRETARY OF THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE OF THE TUDEH PARTY OF IRAN

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    East German Politburo member Hermann Axen and First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Tudeh Party of Iran Noureddin Kianouri discuss the Iranian revolution and the place of the Tudeh Party within Khomeini's Iran.
    "Information about a Conversation of Comrade Hermann Axen, Member of the Politburo and Secretary of the Central Committee, with Comrade Nureddin Kianouri, First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Tudeh Party of Iran," November 08, 1979, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, BStU, MfS, HA II, 29577, 5-16. Obtained by Roham Alvandi. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/209046
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Department
International Relations

Berlin, 8.11.1979

Information about a conversation of Comrade Hermann Axen, member of the Politburo and Secretary of the Central Committee, with Comrade Nureddin Kianouri, First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Tudeh Party of Iran, on 8.11.1979

Comrade Hermann Axen conveyed warm greetings to Comrade Kianouri from the Secretary General of the Central Committee of the SED and Chairperson of the State Council of the GDR, Comrade Erich Honecker, which were very warmly returned.

Comrade Kianouri provided information about the current development of the Iranian revolution and the politics of the Tudeh Party. The development of the revolution in Iran, which in essence is an anti-imperialist national people's revolution, has confirmed the likelihood of the final session of the Tudeh Party's Central Committee. The first stage of the revolution has been successfully completed, that is, the fall of the Shah's regime, in which broad circles of the people were involved, including the liberal bourgeoisie.

Now a second stage of the Iranian revolution is beginning, according to the opinion of the Tudeh Party, because the anti-imperialist national people's revolution is also taking on more and more anti-monopolistic and somewhat anti-capitalistic characteristics. Politically, the main contradiction between the powers surrounding Khomeini, who portray Comrade Kianouri as a kind of Iranian populist ("Narodniki"), and the liberal bourgeoisie (Representative Basargan).

The Tudeh Party has swiftly qualified Khomeini's line as relatively progressive and thereby stayed abreast of developments as they happen in Iran. This baseline was correct; it has paid off in the intervening time. While the extreme left forces have been sent to a counterrevolutionary camp and now stand on the sidelines with the former Minister-President Bakhtiar (in exile), who had been installed by the Shah as custodian of his interests, the Tudeh Party has been able to strengthen its ties to progressive forces among the adherents of Khomeini and considerably raise its own influence.

The imperialist forces and their agents in Iran are attempting to gain influence over Khomeini and to force him to anti-Communist and anti-Soviet positions. Through cleverly disguised provocations in Kurdistan these forces actually succeeded in making Khomeini represent their interests for a good week. But even after two weeks it became clear that the seizure of a building and the banning of the Tudeh Party's "Mardom" newspaper were only temporary political abuses, and Khomeini will not seriously act against the Tudeh Party. He understands well that he may ultimately depend on the USSR and generally on socialist countries in the face of increasing threats from the United States. For this reason [text illegible]...attempt to reach a production output of 89% in comparison with prior to the revolution. The Iranian state is investing considerable means in the economy of the country. It has begun to "buy in" to production establishments of the private sector and making itself a participant in private industry enterprises. While under the Shah's regime private investors received generous credit, in order for the financially strong state to create development opportunities for the private sector, now this practice has ended.


In the area of foreign economics Khomeini's anti-imperialist stance is also finding its downfall. Since the victory of the popular revolution two large deals have been made, both with the Soviet Union. After the metallurgical combine in Esfahan's demonstrated higher [text illegible]