A Better World

Part Two

The worker-communist party struggles for the complete victory of the social revolution of the working class and the introduction of workers' communist programme in its entirety. The worker-communist party believes that advances of human society so far in economy, science, technology and standards of civil life have already created the material conditions necessary to set up a free society without classes, exploitation and oppression, i.e. a world socialist community, and that the working class on taking political power must introduce its communist programme.

At the same time, as long as and where-ever capitalism prevails the-worker-communist party also struggles for the most profound and far-reaching political, economic, social and cultural reforms that raise the living standard of people and their political and civil rights to the highest possible level. These reforms, as well as the strength and unity gained in the struggle for their realisation, will make it easier for the working people to deliver the final blow to the capitalist system.

Part Two of the Programme contains the main immediate demands raised by the worker-communist party in workers' ongoing struggles to impose reforms on the existing system. Though, by the standards of even the most advanced capitalist countries today, the following demands and norms appear radical and ideal, in fact they only represent a very small fraction of rights and freedoms that will be realised in full in a communist society.

There is no doubt that even the slightest improvement in the life of the people in Iran today and the realization of the most elementary rights and liberties require bringing down the inhuman and reactionary Islamic Republic regime. The overthrow of this regime is an urgent task of workers' revolution in Iran. The worker-communist party struggles for the overthrow of the Islamic Republic and the immediate establishment of workers' state. The workers' rule will not only ensure the immediate introduction of the norms outlined in this section of the Programme as the most basic rights of the people in Iran but will also, by implementing the whole of its communist programme, prepare the conditions for real and complete liberation and equality.

General Principle and Framework

1. Establishment of a political structure based on people's direct and permanent participation in political power.

2. Establishment of far-reaching, unconditional, guaranteed and equal political and civil rights and liberties for all. Abolition of any kind of discrimination according to sex, ethnicity, nationality, citizenship, race, religion, age, and so on.

3. Introduction of such general economic and welfare norms, as well as a progressive labour law, that impose the highest standard of living, welfare and economic security for people on the existing capitalist system.

4. Legislation of laws and measures to radically and swiftly push aside reactionary, discriminatory and degrading beliefs, customs and traditions and help the development of a free and open culture, values and human relations.

5. Introduction of laws and policies which turn Iran into a source of support for progressive struggles, progressive social values and relations, and workers' and socialist struggles around the world.

The above general principles to be implemented at once through the following measures:

The Structure and Organs of Political Power

Council rule

Our times more than any other have brought to full view the real disenfranchisement of the people and the formal nature of their participation in political power under liberal and parliamentary democracies. A society that is to ensure wide popular participation in government and in the legislative and executive process cannot be based on parliament and on the system of delegatory democracy. Exercise of power at various levels, from the local up to the national level, has to be carried out by people's own councils, acting as both legislative and executive. The supreme ruling organ will be the national congress of representatives of people's councils. All persons over the age of 16 are recognised as vote-carrying members of their local council and have the right to run for all positions in the local council or for representation to higher councils.

Dissolution of the army

The army and professional armed forces in the existing society are but the armed mercenary bands of the ruling class, organised at the expense of the working people to keep them under subjugation and to protect the economic interests and the home market of one country's bourgeoisie against another. Despite the fact that the ruling class tries to conceal the class nature and the real function of its army under various covers, portraying it as a public organ created to serve society as a whole, the intimate connection of armies with ruling classes, and their role in protecting the interests of the masters of society is clear to the majority of people — and this not only in Asian, African and Latin American countries, where the repressive role of the army and police has been blatantly obvious, but also in Europe and North America, where the myth of an apolitical military has survived longer.

The Worker-communist Party stands for the dissolution of the army and professional armed forces.

The army, Pasdaran (Islamic guards) and other professional armed forces, as well as all secret military, security and espionage organisations should be dissolved.

A militia force of people's councils, based on universal military education and universal participation in security and defence duties, replaces the professional army that stands separate from and above the people.

In addition, the party believes that the following principles must be applied in any case and under all circumstances, whilst armed forces exist:

Repealing the practice of unquestioning obedience in the armed forces. All military personnel have the right to refuse to carry out orders which they regard as being in conflict with the laws of the country or which contradict their own conscience and principles.

Every person has the right to refuse to take part in war or in any military activity that is incompatible with his/her principles and beliefs.

Members of law-enforcement agencies must always wear their uniforms on duty and bear their weapons unconcealed. Formation of armed forces without uniform or conducting of missions as armed police in civilian clothes is forbidden. It is the right of every citizen to have knowledge of the presence of armed law-enforcement forces in her community and vicinity (workplaces, residential areas, roads, etc.).

Members of the military have the right to take part in political activities and join political parties. Political parties, trade unions and other organisations have freedom of activity inside military forces.

Abolition of unelected bureaucracy
Direct popular participation in administration

All political and administrative organs and posts in the country are to be elective and revocable whenever the majority of the electors so decide. Persons elected to such posts should receive salaries not higher than the average wage of workers. Direct supervision by people, through their councils, of the activities of all administrative bodies. Simplification of the hierarchy, language and working procedures of state bureaus in order to make people's intervention in them and their control a simple task.

Enhancement of work ethics and respect for citizens and clients in the public service. Any abuse of position of authority by officials, bribery, nepotism, discrimination, deviation from legally defined rules and procedures, or failure to carry out the provisions of law etc., should result in prosecution in common courts as major offences. Strict prohibition of the use of facilities and resources of public office for private purposes.

Unconditional right of individuals to sue any state official in common courts.

An independent judiciary. Legal justice for all

The judicial system and the concept of legal justice in every society are a reflection of the social relations and the economic and political foundations of that society. The judicial sphere — from the corpus of laws and the prevailing interpretation of right, fairness and justice, to the institutions, administration and procedures of judicial power — is part of society's political superstructure that protects the existing economic and class foundations. Thus, genuine legal justice and its equal application to all, and a truly independent and fair administration of justice, require a fundamental refashioning of the existing class society.

As a step towards this goal, and to ensure the most equitable judicial practice possible in the existing society, the Worker- communist Party calls for the immediate implementation of the following basic principles:

1. Complete legal independence of judges, courts and the judicial system from the executive.

2. Judges and other judicial authorities to be elective by people, and revocable whenever the majority of the electorate so decide.

3. Abolition of special courts; all trials to take place in common courts.

4. All trials to be open and public. Trial by jury in all major criminal offences. The right of the accused and their lawyers to accept or reject judges or members of the jury.

5. In all trials, the accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty, and the burden of proof lies with the prosecutor or the plaintiff.

6. The country's judicial principles and the rights of the individual before the judicial system are described in more detail in later sections of the Programme.

Individual and Civil Rights and Liberties

Bourgeois apologists claim that respect for individual and civil rights is a hallmark and a linchpin of their system. The truth is that out of the five billion or more people who live under the rule of capital today, only a fraction, and that only in a handful of countries, can be said to enjoy any sort of stipulated and fairly stable individual and civil rights. The lot of the overwhelming majority of people in the capitalist world is a more or less absolute lack of political rights, despotic regimes and organised state terrorism and violence. But even in the industrialised countries of Western Europe and North America these rights are merely a fraction of rights and liberties that people demand and deserve today. Moreover, the economic subjugation of working people by capital and the direct relation that exists between civil rights, on the one hand, and property, on the other, make these rights devoid of any real or serious meaning. Besides, the experience of people in these countries during times of economic crisis clearly shows that the survival of even these nominal rights directly corresponds to the economic circumstances of the capitalist class, and that they readily come under attack whenever they have got in the way of profitability and accumulation of capital.

Genuine individual and civil liberties can only be realised in a society that is itself free. By eliminating class and economic subjugation, workers' communist revolution will open the way for the most far-reaching freedoms and opportunities for the individual's self-expression in the various domains of life.

At the same time, the worker-communist party struggles for the realisation and protection of the widest individual and civil rights in the present society. These undeniable and inviolable rights, in their outlines, are as follows:

1. The right to live. Immunity of body and mind against any violation.

2. The right to a livelihood. The right to the necessaries of a normal life in the present-day society.

3. The right to leisure, recreation, rest and relaxation.

4. The right to education. The right to enjoy all the educational resources available to society.

5. The right to health. The right to enjoy all the existing facilities for protection against injury and disease. The right to enjoy all health care and medical facilities available to society.

6. The right to individual independence. Prohibition of enslavement and forced labour under any guise or justification.

7. The right to socialise and have a social life. Prohibition of segregation of people from the social environment and denying them opportunity of association with others.

8. The right to seek and know the truth about all areas of social life. Prohibition of censorship and control by the state or media magnates and managers over the information made available to the public.

9. The right to enjoy a healthy and safe environment. The right of people and their representatives to monitor and control the effects on the environment of the activities of the state and enterprises.

10. Unconditional freedom of belief, expression, assembly, press, demonstration, strike. Unconditional freedom of organisation and of formation of political parties.

11. Full and unconditional freedom of criticism. The right to criticise all political, cultural, ethical, and ideological aspects of society. Any invocation of national, patriotic, religious and other 'sanctities' to restrict the freedom of criticism and expression is to be prohibited and declared illegal. Prohibition of religious, patriotic, nationalistic, and other forms of intimidation aiming to suppress free expression of opinion.

12. Freedom of religion and atheism.

13. Universal and equal suffrage for everyone over the age of 16, regardless of sex, religion, ethnicity, nationality, occupation, citizenship, creed or political belief. The right of every person over 16 to run for any representative body and to hold any elected position or office.

14. Prohibition of inquisition. The right of every person to refuse to testify against themselves to avoid self- incrimination. The right to remain silent about one's personal views and beliefs.

15. Unconditional right to choose one's place of residence. Freedom of travel and movement for everyone over 16, man or woman. Prohibition of any form of permanent control of movement within the country by the state or law-enforcement authorities. Abolition of any restrictions on exit from the country. Immediate and unconditional issuing of passport and travel document on demand.

16. Prohibition of imposing any restriction on the entry and exit of citizens of other countries. Granting of citizenship to any applicant who accepts the legal obligations of citizenship. Unconditional issuing of residence and work permits to applicants of residence in Iran.

17. Inviobality of people's privacy. Inviolability of the person's home, correspondence and conversation and its protection against any form of intrusion by any authority. Prohibition of bugging, pursuit and surveillance. Prohibition of collecting information on people without their express permission. The right of all to obtain and study all the information that state authorities have on them.

18. Freedom in choice of employment.

19. Unconditional freedom in choice of clothing. Abolition of any official or implied requirements on the amount or type of clothing that men or women should wear in public. Prohibition of any form of discrimination or restrictions on the basis of people's clothing and appearance.

20. The right of people's elected representatives to check and monitor the activities, documents and offices of the state. Prohibition of secret diplomacy.

Equality and Elimination of Discrimination

Human equality is a central concept in worker-communism and a basic principle of the free socialist society that must be founded with the abolition of the class, exploitative and discriminatory system of capitalism. Communist equality is a concept much wider than mere equality before the law. Communist equality is the real equality of all people in economic, social and political domains. Equality not only in political rights but also in the enjoyment of material resources and the products of humanity's collective effort; equality in social status and economic relations; equality not only before the law but in the relations of people with each other. Communist equality, which is at the same time the necessary condition for the development of people's different abilities and talents and for society's material and intellectual vitality, can only be realised by ending the division of people into classes. Class society by definition cannot be an equal and free society.

Our struggle for equality and elimination of discrimination in the existing capitalist societies is an integral part of our wider and basic struggle to advance the social revolution and set up an equal and free communist society. Our party stands in the front line of every social struggle against discrimination and inequality and believes that equal rights and the equal application of laws to all, irrespective of sex, nationality, religion, race, belief, creed, employment, status, citizenship, etc., must be proclaimed as the inviolable cardinal principle behind all law. Any law and regulation that is in violation of this principle must be immediately repealed, and all cases of discrimination by any individual, authority or institution, state or private, should come under criminal investigation.

Equality of women and men. Prohibition of discrimination according to sex

Discrimination against women is a hallmark of the world today. In the major part of the world, woman is officially and legally denied even the meagre rights recognised for men. In the economically backward countries and where religion and old traditions have a stronger hold on society's political, administrative and cultural structure, oppression of women takes the grossest and most outrageous forms. In advanced countries, and even in societies where, thanks to women's rights movements and worker-socialist struggles, sexual discrimination has apparently disappeared from the text of most laws, woman is still in many respects in practice discriminated against through the mechanisms of the capitalist economy and the existing male-chauvinistic traditions and beliefs.

In itself, woman's oppression is not an invention of capitalism. However, capitalism has developed this detestable legacy of history into a cornerstone of contemporary economic and social relations. The roots of women's inequality today are to be found not in the archaic beliefs and intellectual and cultural heritage of extinct societies, or in the ideas of the prophets and religions of the Dark Ages, but in the industrial and modern capitalist society of today; in a system that views the sexual division in the production process as an important economic and political factor in ensuring the profitability of capital. Creating labour flexibility in hiring and firing, introducing divisions, competition and frictions among workers, ensuring the existence of more disadvantaged sections within the working class itself as a way of pushing down the living standard of the whole class, distorting the human and class self-consciousness of the working people and revamping archaic and worn-out prejudices — these are the blessings of women's oppression for modern contemporary capitalism and pillars of capitalist accumulation today. Irrespective of whether or not capitalism intrinsically and as such is compatible with women's equality, the capitalism of the end of the 20th century specifically has based itself on this inequality and will not back off without stiff and violent resistance.

The worker-communist party struggles for the full and unconditional equality of women and men. The major laws and measures that must be introduced at once in order to begin the elimination of discrimination against women are as follows:

1. Declaration of the full and unconditional equality of rights of women and men the immediate repealing of all laws and regulations that violate this principle.

2. Immediate measures to ensure complete equality for women and men in participation in the political life. Women's unconditional right to take part in elections at all levels and to hold any position and office — political, administrative, judicial, and so on. Repealing of any law and regulation that restricts the right of women to participate equally in politics and administration.

3. Full equal rights and status for women and men in the family. Abolition of man's privileges as the so-called 'head of the household', and laying down of equal rights and obligations for woman and man regarding the care and upbringing of children, control and running of family's finances, inheritance, choice of residence, housework, professional employment, divorce, and, in case of separation, custody of children and division of, and claims to, the family's property. Prohibition of the Ta'addod Zowjat (Islamic right of multiple marriages for men). Prohibition of Seegheh (Islamic rent-a-wife). Abolition of all the slavish obligations of the wife towards the husband under Islamic laws and ancient traditions. Prohibition for the husband to have sex with his wife without her consent, even without use of violence. Such cases, upon the woman's pressing charges, should be prosecuted as rape. Prohibition of imposing housework or specifically housekeeping duties on the woman in the family. Imposition of severe penalties on abuse, intimidation, restriction of freedom, degradation and violent treatment of women and girls in the family.

4. Complete equality of women and men in economic life and employment. Equal application of labour and social security laws to women and men. Equal wage for similar work for men and women. Abolition of any restrictions on the kind of employment available to women. Full equality of women and men in all matters relating to wages, insurance, holidays, working hours, work shifts, job assignments, job grading, promotions and worker representation at various levels. Implementation of special rules and standards at enterprises to allow women to have secure employment and professional carriers, such as prohibition of laying off pregnant women, prohibition of assigning heavy work to pregnant women, and the provision at the workplace of special facilities needed by women. 16 weeks' maternity leave and one year's leave for child care. The latter to be used by both woman and man by their own agreement. Formation of inspection and supervisory councils to monitor compliance of enterprises with these regulations.

Formation of equal opportunities tribunals with powers to rule on women's equality in employment and workplace, state or private, commercial or non-commercial. Prosecution and heavy punishment of establishments that infringe the principle of absolute equality of women and men in employment.

Free locally-available centres and facilities such as day-care centres, nurseries and children's clubs which, given the disproportionate burden of housework and child care on women as things are today, would facilitate the entry of women into various fields of activity outside the home.

5. Abolition of all restrictive and backward cultural and moral codes and customs which hinder and contradict woman's independence and free will as an equal citizen. Abolition of any restriction on the right of woman — single or married — to travel and choose place of residence at will, whether inside or outside the country. Abolition of all laws and regulations which restrict woman's right in choice of clothing, employment and social intercourse. Prohibition of any form of segregation of women and men in public places, establishments, assemblies, meetings and public transport. Mixed education at all levels. Prohibition of use in official correspondence and discourse by state or private authorities and establishments of such titles as Miss, Mrs, sister or any other appellations that define woman by her position vis-à-vis man. Prohibition of interference by any authority, family members or relatives, or official authorities in the private lives of women and their personal, emotional and sexual relationships. Prohibition of any form of degrading, male-chauvinistic, patriarchal and unequal treatment of women in public institutions. Prohibition of reference to gender in job adverts. Elimination of any prejudiced and degrading references to women from text books and educational material, and inclusion, instead, of special courses and teaching material on the issue of women's equality. Formation of supervisory boards and special law- enforcement departments to deal with cases of harassment and discrimination against women.

6. Direct action by relevant state authorities to fight male- chauvinistic and anti-woman culture in society. Support and encouragement to non-government women's rights groups.

Equal rights for all residents of the country irrespective of citizenship

1. Full unconditional equality of all residents of Iran, regardless of citizenship, in all legal rights and duties, whether individual, civil, political, social or welfare rights.

2. Equal application of labour and social welfare laws to all workers irrespective of citizenship.

3. Issuing of entry, residence and work permits, insurance cards, etc. to all applicants of residence in Iran.

Prohibition of racial discrimination

The worker-communist party struggles resolutely against racism and any form of racial prejudice. Not only should the laws of the country explicitly prohibit discrimination according to race, but emphatic opposition to racial discrimination around the world should be a permanent part of foreign policy.

Elimination of national oppression

The worker-communist party stands for the complete end to national oppression and to all forms of national discrimination in the laws of the country and government policies. The party regards nationalism, national identity and national pride as very backward and harmful notions that negate the universal human identity of people and stifle the cause of equality and freedom. The party is strictly opposed to any categorisation of the population according to nationality and any definition of national identity for people. It stands for setting up a system in which all residents, irrespective of nationality, have equal rights as members of the society, and where no discrimination, negative or positive, is exercised on the basis of nationality.

As a general principle, the worker-communist party stands for people of different national origins to live as free citizens with equal rights within larger national entities. This strengthens workers' ranks in the class struggle. Nevertheless, in cases where a history of national oppression and strife has made coexistence within existing states difficult, the party recognises the right of oppressed nationalities, if they so choose in a direct and free referendum, to secede and form independent states.

The Kurdish question

In view of the long history of national oppression against the Kurdish people in all the countries of the region, and the bloody suppression of protest movements and struggles for autonomy in Iranian Kurdistan under both the Shah's regime and the Islamic regime, the worker-communist party, in principle, recognises Kurdish people's right to separate from Iran and form an independent state through a free referendum. The party strongly condemns any violent and military actions to prevent the exercise of this free choice. The worker-communist party calls for immediate resolution of the Kurdish question in Iran by means of a free referendum in the Kurd-inhabited regions of western Iran under the supervision of recognised international bodies. Such a referendum should be held after the withdrawal of the central government's military forces and a period of free activity for all the political parties in Kurdistan to inform people of their programmes, positions and views.

As a rule, the worker-communist party will, at any point in time, favour Kurdistan's secession only if it is strongly probable that such a path would provide the working people in Kurdistan with more progressive civil rights and a fairer and more secure economic and social environment. The official position of the party will therefore be decided in accordance with the interests of the working class as a whole and of the working people in Kurdistan specifically, after a concrete appraisal of the situation at the time.

The worker-communist party regards the idea of Kurdish autonomy called for by the nationalist forces in Kurdistan not as a step forward but rather as a recipe for perpetuating Kurdish and-non-Kurdish national identities within a single national framework. National autonomy is bound to eternalise and officially legitimise national divisions, and set the stage for the continuation of national conflicts in the years to come.

The worker-communist party considers as invalid and illegal any settlement of the political future of Kurdistan, be it a unilateral decision of the government or result of deals between the central government and local parties, introduced without the explicit consent of the people of Kurdistan themselves in an open and free referendum.

Modern and Progressive Social and Cultural Norms

The political and administrative norms and practices in society should be modern, secular and progressive. This requires the complete purging of the state and administration from religion, ethnicity, nationalism, racialism and any ideology and institution that contradicts the absolute equality of all in civil rights and before the law, or stifles freedom of thought, criticism and scientific enquiry. Religion and nationalism by nature are discriminatory and reactionary trends and incompatible with human freedom and progress. Religion specifically, even if it remains a private affair of the individual, is a barrier to human emancipation and development.

The establishment of a modern secular state and political system is merely the first step towards complete emancipation from religious, national, ethnic, racial and sexual bigotry and prejudice.

The Worker-communist Party calls for the immediate implementation of the following:

Religion, nationality and ethnicity

1. Freedom of religion and atheism. Complete separation of religion from the state. Omission of all religious and religiously-inspired notions and references from all laws. Religion to be declared private affair of the individual. Removing any reference in laws and in identity cards and official papers to the person's religion. Prohibition of ascribing people, individually or collectively, to any ethnic group or religion in official documents, in the media, and so on.

2. Complete separation of religion from education. Prohibition of teaching religious subjects and dogmas or religious interpretation of subjects in schools and educational establishments. Any law and regulation that breaches the principle of secular non-religious education must be immediately abolished.

3. Prohibition of any kind of financial, material or moral support by the state or state institutions to religion and religious activities, institutions and sects. The state to have the duty to eradicate religion from the various spheres of social life by informational means and by raising the public's level of education and scientific knowledge. Omission of any kind of reference in the official calendar to religious occasions and dates.

4. Prohibition of violent and inhuman religious ceremonies. Prohibition of any form of religious activity, ceremony or ritual that is incompatible with people's civil rights and liberties and the principle of the equality of all. Prohibition of any form of religious manifestation that disturbs people's peace and security. Prohibition of any form of religious ceremony or conduct that is incompatible with the laws and regulations regarding health, hygiene, environment and prevention of cruelty to animals.

5. Protection of children and persons under 16 from all forms of material and spiritual manipulation by religions and religious institutions. Prohibition of attracting persons under 16 to religious sects or religious ceremonies and locations.

6. All religious denominations and sects to be officially registered as private enterprises. Subjection of religious establishments to enterprise laws and regulations. Auditing, by legal authorities, of the books and accounts and transactions of religious bodies. Subjection of these institutions to the tax laws which apply to other business enterprises.

7. Prohibition of any physical or psychological coercion for acceptance of religion.

8. Prohibition of religious, ethnic, traditional, local, etc. customs that infringe on people's rights, equality and freedom, their enjoyment of the civil, cultural, political and economic rights recognised under the law, and their free participation in social life.

9. Confiscation and repossession of all property, wealth and buildings that the religious establishments have acquired by force or through the state and various foundations under the Islamic regime. These to be placed in the hands of popularly- elected bodies for the benefit of the public.

10. Prohibition of ascribing individuals or groups to a particular nationality, in public, in the media, in offices, etc. without their express permission.

11. Omission of any reference to the person's nationality in identity cards, official documents, and official business.

12. Prohibition of incitement of religious, national, ethnic, racial, or sexual hatred. Prohibition of forming political organisations which openly and officially proclaim superiority of one group of people over others on the basis of their nationality, ethnicity, race, religion, or sex.

Cohabitation, family, marriage and divorce

1. The right of every couple over 16 to live together by their own choice. Any form of coercion of individuals by any person or authority in choice of their partner, in cohabitation (or marriage) or in separation (or divorce) is prohibited.

2. Simple registration is sufficient for cohabitation to be recognised officially and be covered by family laws, if the parties so wish. Secularization of marriage. Prohibition of religious rituals and recitals at state ceremonies for registration of marriage. Holding or not holding special ceremonies, religious or secular, for marriage has no bearing on its validity or status before the law.

3. Prohibition of any form of financial transaction in marriage, such as fixing a Mehriyye, Shirbaha, Jahizieh (various cash and kind payments by the two parties), and so on, as terms and preconditions of marriage.

4. Prohibition of Ta'addod Zowjat (Islamic right of multiple marriages for men) and Seegheh (Islamic rent-a-wife).

5. Equal rights for woman and man in the family, in the choice of residence, in care and education of children, in decisions concerning the family's property and finances, and in all matters concerning cohabitation. Abolition of man's special status as the head of the household in all laws and regulations, and equal rights for woman and man in supervision of the family's affairs.

6. Unconditional right of separation (divorce) for woman and man. Equal rights and obligations for woman and man in the custody and care of children after separation.

7. Equal right of partners during separation with respect to property and resources that have been acquired or used by the family, during cohabitation.

8. Abolition of the automatic transfer of father's family name to children. The decision on the child's surname to be left to the mutual agreement of the parents. If no agreement is reached, the child takes the mother's surname. References to parents' names to be omitted from identity cards and other official identity documents, such as passport, driving license, etc.

9. Material and moral support by the state to single parents. Special support to mothers who have separated or born their children outside marriage, in the face of economic difficulties or reactionary cultural and ethical pressures.

10. Abolition of all anachronistic and reactionary laws and regulations that treat the sexual relationship of men or women with persons other than their espouses as a crime.

Children's rights

1. Every child's right to a happy, secure and creative life.

2. Society is responsible for ensuring the well-being of every child irrespective of her family's means and circumstances. The state is obliged to ensure a uniform, and the highest possible, standard of welfare and development opportunities for children.

3. Allowances and free medical, educational and cultural services to ensure a high standard of living for children and youngsters regardless of family circumstances.

4. Placing all children without a family or familial care under the guardianship of the state, and providing for their life and education in modern, caring, progressive and well-equipped centres.

5. Creation of well-equipped, modern nurseries to ensure that all children are provided with a creative educational and social environment regardless of family circumstances.

6. Equal rights for all children, whether born in or outside marriage.

7. Prohibition of professional employment for children and youngsters under 16.

8. Prohibition of abuse of children at home, in school and the society at large. Strict prohibition of corporal punishment. Prohibition of subjecting children to psychological pressure and intimidation.

9. Decisive legal action against sexual abuse of children. Sexual abuse of children is deemed a grave crime.

10. Prosecution and punishment of anyone who in any way and under any pretext impedes children, whether boys or girls, from enjoying their civil and social rights, such as education, recreation, and participation in children's social activities

Sexual relationships

1. Free and consensual sexual relationship is the undeniable right of anyone who has reached the age of consent. The legal age of consent for both women and men is 15. Sexual relationship of adults (persons over the age of consent) with under-age persons, even if it is consensual, is illegal and the adult party is prosecuted under the law.

2. All adults, women or men, are completely free in deciding over their sexual relationship with other adults. Voluntary relationship of adults with each other is their private affair and no person or authority has the right to scrutinise it, interfere with it or make it public.

3. Everyone, especially the youth and adolescents, should receive sexual education, and instruction on contraceptive methods and safe sex. Sexual education should be a compulsory part of high school curricula. The state is responsible to rapidly raise the population's scientific awareness of sexual matters and the rights of the individual in sexual relationship, by putting out information, setting up clinics and advisory services accessible to all concerned, special radio and TV programmes, and all other effective methods.

4. Contraceptives and VD prevention devices should be freely and easily available to all adults.


Few phenomena like abortion, i.e. the deliberate elimination of the human embryo because of cultural and economic pressures, display the inherent contempt for human life in the present system and the incompatibility of existing class society and exploitative relations with human life and well- being. Abortion is a testimony to the self-alienation of people and their vulnerability in the face of the deprivations and hardships that the existing class society imposes on them.

The worker-communist party is against the act of abortion. The party fights for the creation of a society where no pressures or circumstances would drive people to performing or accepting this act.

At the same time, as long as the adverse social circumstances do drive a large number of women to resorting to backstreet abortions, the worker-communist party, in order to prevent abuse by profiteers and ensure protection of women's health, calls for the introduction of the following measures:

1. Legalization of abortion up to the twelfth week of pregnancy.

2. Abortion after the twelfth week to be legally permitted if there is danger to the health of the mother (until that time when Caesarean section and the saving of the foetus is possible given the latest medical expertise). Such cases to be ascertained by the competent medical authorities.

3. Wide and freely available facilities for pregnancy tests. Instruction of people in their use to ensure quick detection of unwanted pregnancies.

4. Free abortion and free post-abortion care in licensed clinics by gynaecologists.

5. The decision whether to have or not to have an abortion rests with the woman alone. The state has the duty, however, to inform her before her final decision, of the dissuasive arguments and recommendations of the scientific authorities and social counsellors as well as of the financial, material and moral commitments of the state to her and her child.

6. To reduce the number of abortions, the worker-communist party also calls for the introduction of the following urgent measures to prevent unwanted pregnancies and to free women from economic, cultural and moral pressures.

7. Broad sexual education of people on contraceptives and on the importance of the issue. Widely accessible advisory services.

8. Wide and free access to contraceptives.

9. Allocation of adequate funding and resources to help the women who are considering having an abortion because of economic constraints. The state should stress its duty and readiness to take care of the child should the mother decide to give birth to the child.

10. Resolute campaigns against prejudices and moral pressures that drive women to abortion. Active state support to women against such pressures, prejudices and intimidations.

11. Campaign against the ignorant, religious, male- chauvinistic and backward attitudes that hinder the growth of people's sexual awareness and, specifically, impede women's and young people's wide use of contraceptives and safe-sex devices.

The fight against drug addiction and drug trafficking

1. Strict prohibition of sale and purchase of narcotics and the prosecution and severe sentencing of those responsible for the illicit production, and trafficking of drugs.

2. Helping the fight against drug addiction by eliminating the social and economic grounds that push people to drugs, and protection of drug addicts from pushers and drug-trafficking networks.

3. Decriminalization of the life of drug addicts. Helping drug users off drugs, through:

a. Creation of state clinics that meet the needs of drug users on the condition that they agree to take part in rehabilitation programmes.

b. Legalisation of the possession of some drugs in quantities needed for personal use. Free hypodermic needles and syringes to be made available through chemists and clinics to all those who need them to protect drug users from diseases such as Aids and Hepatitis and to contain the spread of such diseases.

c. Prohibition of any form of exile, incarceration or isolation of drug users on the grounds of their addiction. Drug addiction per se is not a crime.

The fight against prostitution

Active fight against prostitution by eliminating its economic, social and cultural grounds, and decisive action against prostitution-organising networks, middlemen and racketeers.

Strict prohibition of organisation of prostitution, dealing, broking, and profiting by the work of prostitutes.

Decriminalization of the life and work of prostitutes. Helping prostitutes to regain their social dignity and self-esteem and freeing their lives from criminal networks and gangs, through:

1. Legalising sale of sex by the individual as self- employment. Extending the protection of laws and law- enforcement authorities to prostitutes against the mob, racketeers, extortioners, pimps, etc.

2. Issuing of work permits to those who work as self- employed prostitutes. Upholding their honour and prestige as respectable members of society, and helping them to organise in their own union.

3. Free special preventive and therapeutic medical services to prostitutes to protect them from diseases and injuries resulting from employment in this profession.

4. Consistent educational work, encouragement and practical help by responsible state organs to help prostitutes give up prostitution and receive vocational training for work in other areas.

Principles of trials

1. The accused is innocent until proven guilty.

2. Trials must take place free of provocation and pre-judgments and under fair conditions. The location of the trial, the judge and the composition of the jury must be so determined as to ensure such conditions.

3. The accused and their counsels have the right to know and study all the proofs, evidence and witnesses of the prosecution or the plaintiff prior to the trial.

4. The verdict of the court is appealable, at least once, by the accused, the prosecution or by both parties to the lawsuit.

5. Prohibition of stirring up public preconceptions about the trial and about the persons involved while the trial is in progress.

6. Prohibition of trial under circumstances where the pressure of public opinion has denied or compromised the chance of an impartial trial.

7. The testimony of police carries the same weight as that of other witnesses.

8. Judges and courts must be totally independent of the process of enquiry and investigation. The legal correctness of the investigation procedure should be supervised and approved by special judges.

9. In the penal laws, abuse and violation of the person's body and mind, violence against children, so-called crimes of passion committed against women, domestic violence, hate crimes against specific groups of people, and crimes involving violence and intimidation in general, should be treated as much more serious offences than violation of property rights and wealth, both state and private. Vindictive and so-called exemplary punishments should be replaced by punishments meant to be corrective and to shield society from the recurrence of the crime.

Rights of the accused and offenders

1. A person may be held only for a maximum of 24 hours without being charged. The place of detention should not be a prison but part of the usual quarters of law-enforcement authorities.

2. Before the arrest, detainees should be informed of their rights.

3. Everyone has the right to call in a lawyer or witnesses to their arrest and interrogation. Everyone has the right to make two phone calls to their lawyer or relatives, or anyone else they wish, within the first hour of detention.

4. The law-enforcement authorities do not have the right, before charging a person, to take fingerprints or photographs of the individual or to perform medical checks or DNA tests on the individual without his/her permission.

5. Upon arrest, the detainees' next of kin or anyone else they decide should be immediately notified of their detention.

6. Acts of torture, intimidation, humiliation or psychological pressure against detainees, the accused or the convicted is strictly forbidden and is deemed a serious crime.

7. Obtaining confession by threat or inducement is prohibited.

8. Peaceful resistance to arrest, peaceful attempt to escape from prison, or evading arrest are not crimes in themselves.

9. The law-enforcement authorities do not have the right to question or search people or enter their private premises without their permission or the authorization of competent judicial authorities.

10. Coroner's office, forensic and technical labs responsible for the examination of physical evidence, should be independent of the law-enforcement organs. These institutions work directly under the judiciary.

11. The police complaints tribunal should be independent of the police and law-enforcement authorities. The findings of the tribunal should be made public.

12. Files and information kept by law-enforcement bodies on any individual should be readily accessible to him/her for study.

13. Prisoners are covered by the labour law and the general social welfare and health care laws

14. Prisons should be administered by institutions independent of the police and law-enforcement organs and under the direct supervision of the judiciary.

15. The right of elected inspectors to visit prisons as they see fit and without notice.

Abolition of the death penalty

The death penalty must be immediately abolished. Execution or any form of punishment that involves violation of the body (mutilation, corporal punishment, etc.) is prohibited under all circumstances. Life imprisonment must also be abolished.

Respect for the dignity of people

1. Prohibition of openly or implicitly grading the dignity and social worth of people on the basis of rank, position, religion, nationality, citizenship, sex, level of income, appearance, physical features, education, and so on.

2. Prohibition of libel and defamation.

3. Prohibition of performing medical, pharmaceutical or environmental experiments and tests on individuals without their knowledge and express consent. Prohibition of any violation of the person's physical integrity (such as sterilization, removal or transplantation of organs and limbs, genetic manipulation, abortion, circumcision, and so on) without the knowledge and consent of the individual.

4. Prohibition of the use of academic, religious, state or military titles and appellations (such as General, Ayatollah, Doctor, Reverend, and so on) outside the appropriate professional environment. In official and state communication every person must be referred to only by his/her first name and surname. Prohibition of the use of derogatory titles and terms in describing various social groups, by any authority or instance, state or private.

5. Prohibition of designating first and second class, deluxe and standard, etc. sections in public transport, railways, airlines, state hotels, leisure centres, holiday resorts, and so on. Such services must be available to all at a uniform and highest possible standard

The mass media

Public access to popular press and broadcast media. Creation of public radio and TV networks and sharing of broadcast time among the various organisations and associations of people, such as councils, parties, societies, etc. Total abolition of media censorship — political or otherwise.

National and local languages

Prohibition of a compulsory official language. The state may designate one of the current languages in the country as the main language of administration and education, providing that the speakers of other languages enjoy the necessary facilities in the political, social and educational life and that everyone's right to use their mother tongue in all social activities and to enjoy all public facilities is protected.

Changing the Farsi alphabet

In order to help bridge the gap that separates Iranian society from the forefronts of scientific, industrial and cultural progress in the world today, and in order to help people benefit from the results of this progress and take a more direct and active part in it, the official Farsi alphabet should be systematically changed to Latin.

The party also calls for:

1. English language to be taught from early school age with the aim of making it a prevalent language of education and administration.

2. The Western calendar (the official calendar in use internationally today) to be officially recognised and to be used in official documents alongside the local calendar.

Labour and Social Welfare Laws

As long as capital dominates human society, as long as people have to sell their labour power to the owners of means of production and work for capital in order to make a living, and as long as the system of wage-labour and the buying and selling of human labour power survives, no labour law, no matter how many clauses it contains in favour of workers, will be a truly free labour law — a workers' labour law. The Workers' true labour law is the abolition of the wages system and the creation of a society where all contribute, voluntarily and according to their abilities, to the production of necessities of life and the welfare of all, and share in the products of this collective effort according to their needs.

However, as long as the wage system is in existence, the worker-communist movement aims to force such conditions upon the labour relations and labour laws in this system as to ensure the highest possible degree of welfare and the best working conditions for workers, and to protect the working class and people as a whole from the destructive consequences of the wage-labour system. In this struggle worker-communism also aims for the introduction of employment practices and standards which help enhance workers' self-consciousness as a class, their organisation and their struggle.

The labour and social welfare laws, just like all the rights and obligations of citizens, must apply to foreign workers and other foreign residents of the country without exception. The worker-communist party stands for equal rights for all workers irrespective of citizenship, nationality, religion, sex, and so on. The party's main demands regarding labour and social welfare laws are as follows:

Labour law

1. Full and unconditional freedom of worker organisation.

2. Complete and unconditional freedom of strike. Strikes do not need the prior permission of the state or any state authority. Full payment of wages during the period of strike. Equal right of access to the media for strikers to put their case and respond to the claims of the state and employers. Banning strikes under any pretext such as 'national and patriotic interests', 'state of emergency', 'war', etc, would be illegal.

3. Prohibition of employing strike-breakers or police or army personnel to replace strikers, in all enterprises, state or private.

4. Right of workers to stop work while their complaints regarding actions of the employers and their officials, safety issues or unforeseen problems in the workplace, are being dealt with.

5. Freedom of picketing. Freedom for all to join picket lines, whether or not they are employees of the enterprise concerned.

6. Immediate introduction of a maximum 30-hour working week (five six-hour working days), a 25-hour week in heavy occupations, and regular reductions in working hours every five years. Inclusion in the working hours the time spent for lunch breaks, commuting, taking showers after work, literacy classes, technical training and general assembly meetings.

7. Two consecutive days off in the week. Weekends to be changed to Saturday and Sunday [from the present Friday] to conform to the standard in most countries, especially the industrially advanced. A minimum 30-day annual vacation. Short emergency leaves, in addition to the annual holiday, and without reductions in pay, to attend to unforeseen personal problems. The opportunity for women workers to take two days off during menstrual periods.

8. Prohibition of overtime. Workers' normal pay should be at such a level that no worker would be forced to do overtime out of economic necessity.

9. First of May to be a public holiday, as the International Workers' Day.

10. Eighth of March to be a public holiday, as the International Women's Day.

11. Prohibition of piece-rate work, such as piecework and contract work.

12. A minimum wage set by workers' representatives.

13. Automatic rise in the minimum wage proportional to inflation.

14. Determination of the minimum annual rise in wage levels by collective bargaining at the national level between representatives of workers' organisations and representatives of employers and the state.

15. Equal pay for women and men for similar work.

16. Prohibition of paying wages in kind. Prohibition of delay in wage payments. Prohibition of fines or any deductions from pay under various pretexts. Payment of wages for valid absences, periods of sickness and recuperation, strikes or any stoppage of production for various reasons or due to the actions of the employer.

17. Prohibition of linking workers' pay to circumstances and factors other than the act of work itself (such as increase in output, productivity, discipline, production targets, etc.). Workers' pay should be paid in one piece, as wages.

18. Prohibition of child labour. Prohibition of professional employment of children and youngsters under the age of 16.

19. Prohibition of assigning heavy work to pregnant workers or workers whose health would be at risk owing to their specific physical conditions. The right of every worker to refuse to do work which he/she considers to be physically or mentally harmful.

20. Prohibition of firing. Full payment, at the same level as the last pay received, to workers whose enterprise is shut down, until new employment is found. The state has the responsibility to find comparable employment for workers who lose their jobs because of the closure of the enterprise. Vocational re-training, financed by the state, for workers whose profession or line of work becomes obsolete due to changes in technology.

21. Adequate unemployment benefit, according to the last pay received, for every unemployed person over 16 who is ready for work. Adequate unemployment benefit and other necessary allowances for all those who for physical or psychological reasons are unable to work.

22. Lowering of the retirement age for women and men to 55 years or after 25 years of employment (after 18 years in heavy occupations). Payment of a pension equivalent to the highest pay received when employed. Improvements in the pension along with the general rise in the level of wages.

23. Ensuring a safe and healthy workplace and minimization of work hazards, without regard to cost, by applying the most advanced facilities and resources in use throughout the world. Regular medical observation and check-ups against occupational hazards and illnesses, by medical establishments independent of employers, and financed by employers and the state.

24. Full insurance of workers against injuries and damages due to work, whether they occur inside or outside the workplace and without the worker needing to prove negligence on the part of employer or management. Full payment of pension to workers who become incapacitated as a result of injuries resulting from work.

25. Formation of adjudication and arbitration councils with members elected by workers.

26. Drawing up and enforcement of the internal regulations of workshops and economic and production units by workers' elected representatives.

27. Formation of workers' inspection commissions to supervise the correct implementation of the labour law throughout the country in all workplaces and establishments, including domestic services.

28. Obligation of the employer to consult with workers' representatives on any decision which in a substantial way alters the work methods, working hours, the workplace and the number of employees.

29. Right of workers' representatives to inspect the books of the enterprise in which they work. The employer is obliged to provide the workers with all the information they need in the course of the inspection

Social welfare and insurance

The party calls for and is committed to:

1. Payment of unemployment benefit equivalent to the official minimum wage to all unemployed persons over 16.

2. Payment of state pension equivalent to the official minimum wage to all persons over 55 who lack a retirement pension.

3. Placing under the guardianship of the state all children and youngsters under 16 whose subsistence and proper welfare is not taken care of through the family.

4. Free and universal health care. Regular check-ups and comprehensive vaccination of children. Adequate and suitable diet to be guaranteed for all children irrespective of family income, region, place of residence, etc. Eradication of epidemic and infectious diseases arising from polluted and unhygienic environments. Regular examination of everyone against heart diseases, common cancers and illnesses whose timely diagnosis is essential to their effective treatment. Serious improvement of standards of public health and the public's health-awareness. Expansion and organisation of the medical and therapeutic resources in a way that makes immediate access to a doctor, medicine and treatment easy for all.

5. Compulsory and free universal education until the age of 16. Free and universal higher education (university and specialization). Adequate grants for students. Eradication of illiteracy, and continuous raising of the public's level of education and scientific-technical awareness. Education is the right of everyone, and people's access to education and training should be totally independent of family income.

6. Guaranteed suitable housing for all, in terms of space, hygiene, safety and utilities (electricity, warm and cold water, bathroom facilities inside the building, air- conditioning, heating, connection to telephone and TV networks, and access to local public services). Housing costs must not exceed 10% of the individual's or family's income; any extra cost should be met through state subsidy. Homelessness or having to live in substandard housing is unlawful and the state authorities are obliged under the law to provide suitable housing for all citizens immediately.

7. Setting up special service centres, such as day-care centres, nurseries, canteens, self-service restaurants, modern launderettes, etc. locally and in housing estates to relieve the burden of housework and to facilitate participation of all people in social activities.

8. Creation of free sports, art and cultural facilities locally (gyms, theatres and workshops, libraries, etc.) with trainers and instructors.

9. Provision of necessary facilities for the active participation of the disabled and handicapped in all areas of social life. Provision of special facilities and equipment for the physically handicapped, in public places, on roads, housing estates, etc. Free provision of necessary technical instruments and aid devices to facilitate the daily life of the disabled.

10. Creation of facilities and service establishments to meet the needs of the elderly and to improve the quality of their lives. Provision of necessary resources and facilities to help the elderly continue to participate actively and creatively in social life.

11. Creation of a free urban bus and metro network.

12. Extension of urban services (electricity, water, telephone, educational, medical and cultural facilities, etc.) to all rural areas, and the elimination of the welfare disparity between town and country.

International Relations

The Worker-communist Party of Iran stresses the following principles as the basis of government policy in international relations:

1. Abolition of secret diplomacy. Subjection of foreign policy and diplomatic measures to the laws and decisions of popularly- elected legislative bodies.

2. Material and moral solidarity with working-class and socialist movements and all social movements in different countries which fight for similar rights and freedoms as those contained in this Programme. Exerting political and diplomatic pressure on all regimes which deny their citizens basic individual and civil rights.

3. Helping to setup and strengthen international bodies which represent the free will of people themselves and which aim to promote the rights and welfare of people worldwide. Working for the abolition of all international imperialist and militarist organs, pacts and institutions that violate the equality and free will of the people of different countries around the world.

4. Permanent allocation of a part of the country's human, technical and skilled resources to the goal of improving the economic and cultural life of people in the poorer regions of the world.

5. Prohibition of the country's entry into anti-human, hegemonistic and repressive pacts.

The Worker-communist Party of Iran calls on the working class and all those who share the party's aims and objectives to join its ranks.