‘The Communist Party of Iran’ by Sultan Zane from Communist International. No. 13. Fall, 1920.
THE First Congress of the Communist Party of Tran was opened at Enzeli on July 23. This day is a historic day, not only for the revolutionary movement of Persia, but for that of the entire East. In spite of all the stratagems of the British spies, 48 delegates arrived at Enzeli from different parts of Persia. Among the delegates were representatives of the Communists of Persia, Turkestan, and the Caucasus. Their serious attitude in regard to all the questions under discussion, their complete unity and class-consciousness in respect to the elections, proved that the cause of the liberation of the workers of Persia is entrusted to true and reliable hands. The delegates at the Congress were mostly workers and peasants; it could not boast of many members of the educated class; but the majority of those attending it had been taking an active part in the revolutionary movement of Persia during the last 10 to 15 years.
Already, in 1914, the Persian workers in Baku went out into the streets with energetic protests against the imperialist war. In 1916, a group of Persian workers inclining to Bolshevism separated from the Social-Democratic Party, and for a long time carried on independent work among the proletarian masses of Baku, where the majority of the workers are Persians. After the February revolution, this group increased; and its influence over the working masses continued to develop. At the same time, it carried on an energetic work in Persia, sending out the best workers from Baku for agitation and organisation purposes. Many of them are now in the prison of Teheran, Tabriz, Kazvin, and other cities. Many have been exiled to India by the English, or shot down on the spot at the moment of their arrest. One of our best leaders, comrade Wafarzade, the inspirer and a great organiser of the Communist Party in Persia, was treacherously shot down at Resht. Two months ago, when the revolutionary Persian troops captured Ardabil, they let out of the prison there 17 of our active comrades. Many of them had been in prison for over a year.
There has not been a single workers’ demonstration in Baku in which our Party has not taken an active part. During the worst days of the reaction, the Persian Communist Party numbered over 6,000 members, working in secret organisation. About two months ago we began enlisting volunteers for the Persian Red Army; the number of volunteers was so great that we had to stop recruiting, as we were unable to supply all those who desired to enlist with the necessary equipment.
At the present moment, after the Congress which among other things decided to suppress the old name of “Adalet” and to call our Party the Communist Party of Iran, the new Central Committee passed a resolution in virtue of which every member of the Committee is bound to work illegally during 2—3 months in all the places where the English imperialists are yet ruling. A week after this resolution was passed, six members of the Central Committee started for their work.
At the present moment throughout the whole of Persia, an energetic organisation and construction of Party organs is going on. The Party Committees which have been dispersed and suppressed by the English agents are gradually reviving again, and contact between the centre and the local branches is being established. Our Party is meeting with special sympathy among the military organisations, the gendarmes and the Cossacks. But in this case these Cossacks and gendarmes are not to be com- pared with the Russian. The social status of the Cossacks and gendarmes in Persia is chiefly the peasant class, and for the most part the hungry, landless peasants; therefore they succumb very rapidly to our agitation. In Persia itself, according to approximate calculations, we have about 10,000 members of the Party, dispersed throughout the whole country.
Besides the work in Persia, our Party is carrying on active work among the Persian workers in Azerbeidjan, Daghestan, and Turkestan. In these countries, while organising the Persian workers, we are pursuing a double object: on the one hand by means of Party courses we are preparing active workers, and, on the other hand, we are enlisting volunteers and mobilising Party members for military purposes. In these countries our organisations are working in complete contact with those of the Russian Communist Party. In Azerbeidjan they have even united with the R.C.P The Communist Party of Iran must and will play a decisive role in the revolutionary movement of Persia.
The ECCI published the magazine ‘Communist International’ edited by Zinoviev and Karl Radek from 1919 until 1926 irregularly in German, French, Russian, and English. Unlike, Inprecorr, CI contained long-form articles by the leading figures of the International as well as proceedings, statements, and notices of the Comintern. No complete run of Communist International is available in English. Both were largely published outside of Soviet territory, with Communist International printed in London, to facilitate distribution and both were major contributors to the Communist press in the U.S. Communist International and Inprecorr are an invaluable English-language source on the history of the Communist International and its sections.
PDF of full issue: https://archive.org/download/communist-international-no.-1-17-1919-may-1921/Communist%20international%20no%2011-13%201920.pdf