August 2, 1967
Minutes of Conversation between Nicolae Ceaușescu and Reza Radmanesh, President of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Tudeh Party, Bucharest
Minutes of conversation between Nicolae Ceaușescu and Reza Radmanesh, President of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Tudeh Party, Bucharest, 2 August 1967
Currently our headquarters are in Germany. We have a radio station in Bulgaria, and we broadcast four times a day, two hours in Persian, one hour in Azeri, and one hour in Kurdish. This radio station exerts a lot of influence on the population in Iran. Hundreds of thousands of peasants listen to the radio and this is how we get in touch with the people.
We publish newspapers, magazines, some of them are published even in Iran. We also enjoy a certain influence among student circles abroad. There are approximately 30,000 Iranian students in Europe and the United States, and one can say they are taking part in our movement, that they represent an opposition force abroad.
We have our own organization in Iran, established in the five most important cities in Iran. We publish two illegal newspapers, and our organization has considerably developed lately. Last year, two of our comrades were sent back to Iran, where they were sentenced to death. One of them had lived in Bucharest for a long time. Although they were sentenced to death, following an international campaign, the Shah was forced to reduce the punishment to life in prison. There are many comrades in prison; there are comrades who have been in prison for 20 years. A few months ago they discovered one of the biggest underground printing houses of our party; they made a big deal out of this discovery, but our fight continues.
I can say that our party is the most organized opposition party in Iran. Most political prisoners are members of our party. Of course, you know our party, but I wanted to give you some more details.
Politically, Iran has experienced some sort of transformation in recent years. This change in the foreign policy of our country consists of an improvement in Iran’s relations with socialist countries. We think this is a positive thing, we are fighting for it. I can say we are the only party in the opposition supporting this improvement because we think this improvement helps consolidate [Iran’s] political independence and paves the way to creating a foundation for our economy. Fortunately, Iran’s relations with socialist countries in recent years have greatly improved. Moreover, your country improved its relations with Iran, which we are in favor of. The Soviet Union also improved its relations with Iran, and continues to do so.
Owing to this improvement in Iran’s relations with socialist countries, our activity has increased. Many comrades, who used to be desperate, reluctant, [or] reserved, have now started to work, to become active since they see a new path [ahead].
As long as Iran’s economy is undergoing a positive transformation, we ourselves are changing our policy according to the transformations and to the policies [being] adopted in Iran.
These reactionary and imperialist circles want to take advantage of the improvement in Iran’s relations with socialist countries to isolate our parties from other communist parties in socialist countries. In this respect, they pressed the Soviet, Bulgarian, [and] the East German governments when [Iran] proposed to establish economic relations with the GDR, conditioning [these economic ties] on GDR ceasing its [contacts] with our party, and expelling us from the GDR. Probably on the occasion of their meetings with your government, they mentioned this to you as well. I am certain, however, that they did not and will not succeed in doing this. On the contrary, we receive increasing support from socialist countries.
I would like to add something about the divergences that exist between various parties, and especially between socialist countries; I, for one, know more about the divergences between China, on the one hand, and the Soviet Union and other socialist countries, on the other hand. This [split] is very damaging to our activity in Iran. We expelled 3 members of our Central Committee due to their pro-Chinese mistakes. They tried to establish an independent faction. The Chinese [Communist] Party helped them and continues to do so. Of course, they could not establish a [movement]. One could say that they have a few dozen members who are located in Europe. They used to publish newspapers but now they stopped publishing these newspapers.
In any case, these divergences, as you know better than me, are very damaging to our national and international activity.
If there was unity in the international communist movement, Iran’s situation would be a lot better.
Nicolae Ceaușescu and Reza Radmanesh, President of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Tudeh Party, met in Bucharest. Radmanesh discussed the work and goals of the Tudeh Party and how Iran's recent improved interaction with socialist countries was allowing the activity of the party to increase.
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