English publications

PAGE CONTENTS

Introduction to the OCU Archives website

A short history of the Organization of Communist Unity (OCU)

The origins of Communist Unity: anti-colonialism

Raha’i issues in English

Introduction to the OCU Archives website

Our purpose in launching the Communist Unity Organization (OCU) Archives website, is to collect and present a rich collection of publications, books, and pamphlets (including translations and original Persian-language editions) produced during a period of more than twenty years, from the Star Group’s first beginnings in 1970 to when the OCU was disbanded when its members and supporters were arrested in 1990. Aspiring to a non-dogmatic and critical view of Marxist literature and theory, the OCU sought forms of struggle based on independent and objective analyses of the social and political conditions in Iran.  In this tradition, this website was created by a group of former members and supporters to introduce the views and perspectives of the OCU and by so doing make historical documents from this lesser-known section of the Iranian left movement available to researchers and all those interested in the past and future of the Iranian left.

The posters presented on this website have been provided to us by the renowned artist, Mr. Nikzad Nodjumi. A description of them is available on the Documents Archives page (in Persian).

We welcome visitors to the site and ask you to send us copies of any documents from the OCU that you may have that are missing from this collection. Please also post your comments or questions about the content of the site via email.

CONTACT US: web.vahdat@gmail.com


A short history of the Organization of Communist Unity (OCU)

“The Star Group” (SG) was one of several small Marxist groupings that was formed in the late 1960s by anti-imperialist activists within the Confederation of Iranian Students (National Union) who had political leanings toward the National Front of Iran (INF). In 1970, hoping to relocate and expand their activities into Iran, they created the Iranian National Front Organizations Abroad (Middle East Branch) (INF-ME) and launched a new volume of its newspaper, Bakhtar Emrooz. As the official publication of the INF-ME, Bakhtar Emrooz (volume 4) primarily advocated for the necessity of armed struggle as the road to Iran’s liberation.  Meanwhile, at this time, the Star Group was trying to directly communicate with and contact revolutionaries within Iran and initially succeeded by establishing contact with what was later referred to as the “Pouyan-Ahmadzadeh” group.

After a few months, however, following an armed battle in Siahkal in northern Iran that marked the beginning of armed struggle in Iran, contact with the group was lost. It was not until the fall of 1973 that relations were then established with the People’s Fedaii Guerrillas Organization.

At the beginning, the Star Group and the Fedaii agreed on joint activities in Iran and in the region in the framework of a “unification process”. Accordingly, the SG sent their comrade, Manouchehr Hamedi, as their representative to Iran to join the organizational life of the Fedaii and help move the unification process and discussions forward.  While in Iran, Hamedi lived in Fedaii team houses but was reported to have been killed in an armed conflict in the city of Rasht in May 1976.

Even before establishing a relationship with the Fedaii, the Star Group was already active in the Middle East and was in touch with militant Palestinian organizations. It ran several radio stations, including Radio Mihanparastan (Patriots’ Radio Station), and took part in the October 1973 Arab-Israeli war within the ranks of Palestinian organizations.  Its activities continued during the process of unification with the Fedaii and after its termination. The main activities were:  solidarity actions and close political and military cooperation with revolutionary organizations in the region, especially in the Palestinian movement and the struggles in Turkey; work with militants fighting in the Gulf countries and  participation in the Dhofar armed liberation struggle;  participation in the Lebanese civil war and the war against Israel in South Lebanon in May 1977; organizing military training for Iranian revolutionaries and procuring military and technical equipment for them; publishing and publicizing activities under the auspices of the INF-ME including continuing Radio Mihanparastan broadcasts and the launching of Radio Suroosh (Radio Messenger) for cultural broadcasts; the continuation of  Bakhtar Emrooz and creation of Iran Thawra (Iran Revolution) in Arabic; and taking part in the publication of seven issues of the journal, Asr-e Amal (Age of Action) which advocated armed struggle in Iran. During this period, the SG also published works from numerous militant organizations in Iran and from the INF-ME in Persian and Arabic.

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The origins of Communist Unity: anti-colonialism and revolution in Iran’s tri-continental moment

British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies

ISSN: 1353-0194 (Print) 1469-3542 (Online) Journal homepage: https://www.tandfonline.com/loi/cbjm20

Eskandar Sadeghi-Boroujerdi

Published online: 01 Aug 2017

ABSTRACT
This article analyses the historical emergence of the Organization of Communist Unity, which coalesced out of the National Front of Iran and its Organizations abroad. In the aftermath of the MI6/CIA-orchestrated 1953 coup d’état, a new generation of political activists left Iran for Europe and the United States to pursue their higher education. While politically active in the Organizations of the National Front Abroad, they gradually turned to revolutionary Marxism against the backdrop of the torrential waves of decolonization and resistance to imperial military interventions undulating across the Global South. This same constellation of activists was not only fiercely anti-imperialist, but also opposed any form of dependence on the U.S.S.R. or the People’s Republic of China. They would move from Europe and the United States to establish themselves in several locations across the Arab world, and pursue political activism and their advocacy of guerrilla warfare, as part of their ambition to launch a national liberation struggle against the Pahlavi regime. By examining Communist Unity’s predecessors and their manifold transnational ideological, political and logistical networks with like-minded revolutionary movements inside the Middle East, this article brings to the fore hitherto under-explored South–South connections, and situates Iran’s revolutionary opposition within the global moment of ‘1968′.

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Raha’i, No. 1, January 1981

Contents of Raha’i English were translated from various issues of the weekly Raha’i, Volume II, published in Iran from July 1979-February1982. For more information, see: A short history of the Organization of Communist Unity (OCU)

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Raha’i, No. 2, Spring-Summer 1981

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Raha’i, No. 3, Fall-Winter 1981

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Raha’i, No. 4, fall 1982