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

Sadeghi-Boroujerdi, Eskandar. 2018. The origins of Communist Unity: anti-colonialism and revolution in Iran’s tri-continental moment. British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, 45(5), pp. 796-822. ISSN 1353-0194 [Article]

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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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1 August 2017Published Online
19 June 2017Accepted

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01 Aug 2019 09:06

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17 Dec 2020 12:40

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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