Organization of Iranian People's Fedaian (Majority)

Organization of Iranian People's Fedaian (Majority)
Organization of Iranian People's Fadaian (Majority)
سازمان فدائیان خلق ایران اکثریت
Leader Behrouz Khaliq
Founded Iran Siahkal, Iran, 10th February 1971
Headquarters Germany Cologne, Germany
Ideology Democratic Socialism,,
Social democracy
The Official Website of the Organization
Politics of Iran
Political parties

The Organization of Iranian People's Fadaian (Majority) or Fedayan-e Khalq (often mistakenly called Fedayeen-e Khalq) (Persian: سازمان فدائیان خلق ایران اکثریت Sāzmān-e fedaiyān-e khalq-e Irān (aksariat), 'Organization of self-sacrificers of the people of Iran (majority)') is the largest socialist party in Iran[citation needed] and advocates the overthrow of the Islamic regime in Iran. Its history can be traced back to 1904 with the formation of the social democratic Hemmat group. Its secretary-general is Behrouz Khaliq and Hassan Zahtab is its foreign relations coordinator. The group is banned from open activity inside the Islamic Republic, and works clandestinely inside Iran, but has many open bases all over Europe (especially Germany) and North America[citation needed].



The 19th century

With the growth of industry, and along with it the development of the capitalist mode of production in the late 19th and early 20th century, socialist ideology found its way to Iran. The social and political scene of that era can be summarised as the period of historical transformation of the Iranian society from feudalism to capitalism.

Underground political organisations were formed in major cities of Iran, to mobilise and lead the masses particularly in Tabriz, Tehran and Esfahan. Among them was a political grouping formed in 1898 by Ali Monsieur, an outstanding intellectual from Tabriz. Social democracy was first brought to the country by those Iranian workers who travelled to the Caucasus (Ghafghaz), and Russia's Asian countries, for seasonal work, especially in the Baku oil industry (more than half the workers in the Baku oil fields were Iranian). It was from these workers that Iranian revolutionaries like Heidar Amou Oghly (one of the leaders of the Constitutional Revolution) were raised.

Formation of the Hemmat group in 1904


In 1904, in order to organise revolutionary social democratic activities among the people of Azarbaijan and other Iranians, a political group called "Hemmat" (Aspiration) was founded in Baku. The "Hemmat" group for the first time translated the term "Social Democracy" into Persian, in order to make it more understandable for Iranian people who had no knowledge of European languages.

Creation of the Edalat Party in 1917

Having returned from Russia, in 1904, Heidar Amou Oghly, together with some of his comrades, organised the first cells of the revolutionary Social Democrats of Iran in Mashhad. A year later, on the eve of the Constitutional Revolution, the first official document of the social democratic movement in Iran was adopted at a meeting in Mashhad. Following the victory of the Russian Revolution in February 1917 and the overthrow of the Tsarist regime, Iranian revolutionaries who had immigrated to Russia found the opportunity to organise openly, increase their activities and establish their offices. In May 1917, the Iranian Social Democrat Party Edalat (Justice), was founded officially.

Transformation of the Edalat Party into the Communist Party of Iran

In Gilan (northern Iran), social democrats, together with revolutionary intellectuals and peasants staged a united uprising. Against this background, in June 1920, the first congress of the Edalat Party was convened in Bandar-e Anzali (a northern Iranian port) and officially founded the Communist Party of Iran. Heidar Amou Oghly was elected as the leader of the Communist Party of Iran.

Activities of the Communist Party of Iran

The Communist Party of Iran helped to found the Union of the Oil Workers in 1925, when Reza Shah took power and two years later, under increasing pressure from the police, was forced to take the trade union underground. Women's and youth organisations were established as a result of the activities of Iranian communists. In 1923 "Peyk-e Saadat-e Nesvan" (messenger of Women's prosperity) was formed and in 1926 the women's group "Bidariye Ma" (Our Awakening) was established. With the intention of ending the growth of these movements in the country, Reza Shah stepped up the suppression and in 1929 passed a bill through the Iranian parliament, banning all communist activity in Iran.

Death of the Communist Party and formation of the Tudeh Party

Taking advantage of the vacuum created after the events of the First World War, the Tudeh Party of Iran was formed in September 1941 to continue the work of the banned Communist Party of Iran under conditions of open activity. Following the collapse of Reza Shah's regime, with the new conditions prevailing, a large group of political prisoners were released. On 29 September 1941, the founding conference of the TPI was held in Tehran under the chairmanship of Soleiman Mohsen Eskandari.

In 1944, having assessed its strength, the Party decided to enter the elections to the 14th parliament. Eight of the Party's candidates were elected to the Parliament and formed the Tudeh faction.

At this time the Party's total official membership was 25,000. It was therefore the Party's priority to convene a congress in order to reorganise its structure. The Party's first congress was opened on 1 August 1945 in the Party's Central Club with the participation of 164 delegates.

But, in February 1949, the Tudeh was blamed for an abortive attempt on the Shah's life, and its leaders fled abroad or were arrested. The party was again banned.

The fifties and sixties

From the late 50’s and early 60’s, a new generation who were pro independence, freedom and sovereignty of the people, and advocated progress, social justice, and socialism in the country entered the political arena and the critique of the political failure of the Tudeh Party within the last two decades and search for new solutions became the agenda for fresh opposition. This process coincided with ever-increasing student opposition in the Europe and changes in Latin America. Members of the Tudeh Party who were against the party's close relationship with the Soviet Union slowly distanced themselves from their Party. Since that movement was lacking leadership and there was not a reliable party or organization in the political arena, the struggles of intellectual circles focused on filling that political vacuum. Due to this fact, the idea of armed struggle against the Shah’s dictatorship was recognized as the only path to freedom among revolutionary left groups and circles.

From establishment to the February 1979 Revolution

The first organized steps and practical measures in the revolutionary left armed movement were taken by Bijan Jazani and his comrades in early 1960s. By attacking a Gendarmerie post in northern Iran Jangles on February 8, 1971, the aggregated struggles of revolutionary left groups with tendency towards armed struggle led to action and shortly after, the Organization of the Iranian People s Fadaian Guerrillas was formed by two main groups of the armed movement (remainders of Jazani-Zarify group and Pouyan, Ahmadzade-Meftahi). During an eight year period, form 1971 to 1979, the Fadaian came under intensive attacks and their victims exceeded those of any other opposition organization. Within these years over three hundred People’s Fadaian were murdered by the Shah’s regime. During this period, in the course of four deadly strikes, the majority of the Organization leaders were arrested or murdered. Nevertheless, the Organization survived. One of the deadliest strikes happened on April 19, 1975, where Bijan Jazani and six of his comrades were murdered secretively in a regime prison. This event happened after being in the prisons of the Shah for eight years without any second trial. The Fadaian played an effective and active role in the February 1979 revolution whose leadership fell under control of Ayatollah Khomeini.

From the Revolution to the Repression Period

Following the revolution, the Organization's public offices were established in most Iranian cities. Later those centers developed into gathering places for the secular and socialist Iranian youth. In the first election after the revolution, Fedaian received 10% of the votes and became the only alternative to the islamists around Khomeyni. During this period, the Fadaian as a left opposition of the theocratic regime participated in the leadership of worker, peasant, and national movements and the protest movement in the newly established regime. In the meantime, internal discussions on the issues of revolution and the regime’s nature were under way amongst Fedaian which resulted in several splinterings in the Organization. The means and methods of struggle and policies towards the new government were the most contentious issues. The majority of the organization's members did not believe in armed struggle anymore and in the new political atmosphere recognized the Islamic Republic as an anti-imperialist state. That majority chose to make peace with Khomeyni as the Iranian people were at that time devout followers of their religious leaders, a decision the Organization regretted some years later. These differences caused the separation of the Minority of the Organization from the Majority.

On May 1, 1981, hundreds of thousands of the Fedaian supporters gathered in Azadi (Freedom) Square in Tehran. At that day, the leadership announced the Organization's new policies. Among others, it was announced that the Organization was no longer a guerrilla movement but was a political organization of the Iranian working class. Since then, the Organization was formally called the Organisation of Iranian People's Fadaian - Majority (OIPFM) and chose the “unity-critique” policy towards the Islamic Republic.

Up to early 1980s, while the Islamic regime of Khomeyni was not yet well established, the Organization was conducting semi-public activities. KAR, the official newspaper of the Organization, had a circulation of 100,000 to 300,000. In the course of four years of hard work to build the skeleton of the Organization, the number of members reached twenty thousands, of which women were one third, workers one fifth, and students three fifths. The average age within the OIPFM was less than 24 years among the general membership and 32 years at the leadership level. The most significant achievement of the Fadaian was organising and mobilising a large group of youth and establishing a major secular political party in an intensely religious society.

Years of Repression

Despite OIPFM’s policies of trying not to position itself in direct conflict with the government, it was clear that the ruling fundamentalists could not tolerate the Organization's “unity-critique” policy, the Fedaian’s activities, and their existence. During the period of 1981-83, OIPFM was principally supportive of the Islamic government's policies in various aspects, including the conflict with Iraq, anti-American positions, and certain aspects of their economic reforms; however it was not legally permitted to pursue its activities. In those years, several death sentences were given to Fadaian and hundreds of their activists were imprisoned. The overwhelming prosecution and oppression of OIPFM began from the spring of 1983; at the time the regime completed its intelligence structures and policing networks. But the Islamic Regime did not succeed in destroying a large portion of the Organization's leadership and the leadership was able to exile itself abroad in time. But several thousands of Fedaian were arrested, hundreds, including eight members of the leadership, were executed, and thousands were forced to flee the country.

In May 1985, together with the Tudeh Party, the Organisation of the Iranian Peoples' Fadaian (Majority) published a joint statement calling for the overthrow of the Islamic Republic.

Before his death, Ayatollah Khomeini ordered mass killings of political prisoners in 1988. In the summer of 1988, a committee of Islamic Republic representatives visited the Iranian prisons and tried and sentenced to death thousands of political prisoners. The real number of executed prisoners is still unknown, but Reza Malek who worked as a former deputy at the Research Division of the Islamic Republic Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) made a confession in 2008 that during the 1988 political prisoner executions by the mullahs’ regime, 33,700 people were executed and buried in mass graves. [1]. Among those executed were hundreds of Fadaian, most of them were murdered in captivity without trial.

Some others committed suicide like Soheila Darvishkohan as she was sentenced to be flogged each time she refused to attend daily islamic prayers. [2]

This crime was called “The National Tragedy” by the Organization and all opposition parties (including Islamists, Communists, Liberals and Nationalists). To see some of the names of the assassinated Fadaian go to [3].

During 1988-1990 OIPF(M) passed through a period of introspection and critical review of previous positions and evolved from Communism to Democratic Socialism. In the summer of 1988, the right of all members to publicly express or publish their independent and personal views, as a major step towards the restructuring of the OIPFM, was granted and the way for getting out of the crisis and preparation of the First Congress was paved.

The Nineties

In August 1990, the First Congress of the OIPFM took place outside the country. The congress mainly focused on re-examining the Organization’s past policies, political situation, and internal relations. Being critical of current leadership’s past positions, the Congress transferred the leadership to a new group and decided to summon the Second Congress within a one-year period. The outcomes of the Congress secured the unity of the OIPFM with recognition of the differences in views among the Organization activists. The 1990s brought about profound changes in the Organization's views and policies. In this decade, the Organization declared democracy as its urgent and fundamental goal and emphasized on relation between democracy and social justice. Diversity in views and political differences were officially recognized and supported. The first congress rejected the policies which guided the OIPFM to overwhelmingly support the Islamic Republic and concluded that those policies damaged the morale of the independent left in the Organization and were harmful to OIPFM and the whole Iranian democratic and progressive movement. The Congress emphasized socialism as its ultimate goal. It decided to hold future Congresses every other year.

Since then, the Organization's congresses have been summoned every other year.

The Twenty first century

The discussion of unity was at the core of discussions during the tenth Congress, which was held in February 2007. The tenth Congress emphasized the close relationship amongst republican, democratic, and secular forces and their widespread unity towards building an alternative to the Islamic republic.

On October 23, 2007, the OIPFM held an official meeting with European representatives in the European Parliament [4] and then, both in October 2009 and in July 2010, it held a joint meeting with four other Iranian parties with a European delegation in Brussels [5], [6], [7].

In 2010, it was decided to unite with two other Iranian Left Parties called the Union of People's Fedaian of Iran and the Provisional Council of Iranian Left Socialists so as to form one of the biggest Left Party of the Middle East and follow the same path as the Left German Party Die Linke with whom the OIPFM is very close. [8], [9]

The OIPFM has cordial ties with many foreign parties such as the Communist Party of Spain and the United Left of Spain [10] [11], the Communist Party of Iraqi Kurdistan [12], the French Communist Party [13], the Left Party of Sweden [14], the Party of the Communists of Italy [15], the United Party of Afghanistan [16] and the Communist Party of South Africa [17].

The urgent task of the OIPFM is to overthrow the Regime of the Mullahs and replace it with a secular Republic.

Views and Goals of the OIPFM


1- OIPFM advocates democracy, progress, social justice, and socialism. Nationally and globally, peace is the main human beings’ demand which ensures success in achieving the above goals. The Party believes that advocating independency of the country and national interests and advocating equal and brotherly relations between all nations go hand in hand. The organization advocates human rights, thus, fights against any national, class, gender, racial, and ideological discrimination. In today’s world, preserving environment is one of humanity’s main goals. This goal is one of the main pillars of their political plan.

2- The Party believes that class struggle is a reality. In the current struggle between labor and capital in the global capitalism system, it belongs to labor camp. The Iranian society consists of various classes. Class gap is in such a way that a group who owns the capitals is privileged to have unlimited welfare and in contrast, workers and toilers are deprived of ordinary human life. The organization recognizes class society and these cruel discriminations against human dignity and fights for their abolition. Based on these believes, the Party build its program on defending the interests of workers, rural toilers, intellectuals, and all wage workers and blueand white-color workers of the contemporary society.

3- Whereas women, youths, and national and religious minorities, in attaining their needs confront difficulties more often or are target of dual cruelty and discrimination, OIFPM bases another pillar of our socio-political program on defending the special interests of these social groups.

4- Freedom and human rights are prime goals of the organization’s political agendum. All people must be totally free in adopting, expressing, writing, and defending their views and believes – including political, philosophical, religious, scientific, etc. The Party advocate separation of religion and state and consider any ideological hegemony and any kind of dictatorship contrary to the people’s interests.

5- The Party believes that sovereignty and power arise from the people’s will. It believes in people-based system based on people’s vote and free election in appointing state officials, in limited duration, periodic and peaceful transformation of power, and in partisan and multi-party system.

6- The Party believes in integration of political, economic, and social democracies. It believes that more power distribution in the society and participation and direct and voluntary involvement of people in political, economic, and social aspects of life, control of the government by improvement of civic society and political, vocational, and democratic institutions and social movements of women, youths, environment and peace are necessary for growth of comprehensive democracy.

7- The Party believes that democracy and social justice go hand in hand. Securing social justice is the backbone of democracy and peaceful relations in the society and in the absence of democracy and people’s democratic rights accomplishment of social justice would not be possible.

For Development and Modernity

8- The country’s recent one hundred-year history has been witnessing the battle between tradition and modernity and struggle to overcome underdevelopment of the society. Despite achieving some kind of successes, the chronic problem of underdevelopment and traditionalism still exists. Underdevelopment and traditionalism are the pretexts of political dictatorship and people’s misery. Whilst OIPFM appreciates those traditions which positively affect development of the society, it believes that struggle for democracy and social justice goes hand in hand with the struggle for cultural, social, and economic revival.

Environment fadai.jpg

For Preservation of Environment

9- Environmental crisis is one of the most critical issues nationally and globally. Due to explosive growth of the population, uncontrolled growth of the cities and industries, and plundering use of natural resources by the capitalism production, living conditions in our planet are at serious stake. In our country also because of explosive growth of the population and the Islamic Republic destructive policies, the issue of the environment has become a serious concern. Because of individual and self interests, free market economy is not able to resolve the issue of environment. Destruction of environment must be stopped, the whole system of production and consumption must be redefined, and new technology in harmony with the nature must be adopted. Transfer of activities and products which are harmful to the environment to the developing countries and exploitation of the environment must be stopped.


10- In view of the fact that the Islamic Republic is advocating and intensifying the culture of male domination, women are under intense discrimination and considered as second-class citizens. The foundation of male domination is essentially laid on the discrimination against women and violation of their human rights and secures men’s superiority over them. In the Party's opinion all discriminatory laws and rules against women must be abolished and all men dominated structures in various aspects of social life must be restructured and women must be able to achieve equality with respect to their rights, status, and esteems. Securing women’s equality is one of the democracy and civil society pillars and one of the main elements of human rights. Securing democracy without securing women’s rights does not mean a single thing. To secure their equality in social and human rights, women need to have their independent institution.

National Minorities

11- Iran is a country with various national minorities. The Party believes in equality and free and voluntary coexistence of the national minorities in one country. It believes in a wide range of political, cultural, and social authorities for different regions of the country, especially regions which are the habitats of national minorities. It believes that non-centralized governing systems such as federalism secure national minority rights. It fights against any minority, national, and race superiority and fight for securing national minority rights.


12- The Party supports establishment and expansion of progressive movements in all aspects of social life. It believes that ever-increasing growth of feminism, environmentalism, youth, and other social movements are serving the culture of democracy and strengthening of human right principles in the world.

National Interests and International Relations

13- In the context of equal and brotherly relations with the rest of the world, the Party advocates its country’s national interests and independence. North-South current relations are unjust, plundering, and hegemonic. These relations have kept the status quo in the undeveloped countries of the South, secured the existence of dictatorship regimes, and increased poverty. The Party believes in restructuring these relations and establishment of a genuine new order based on equal rights for all countries.

International Solidarity

14- OIPFM advocates international solidarity in defending peace, environment, fighting against unjust present international economic system and hegemony of the developed capitalist countries and collectively struggling for securing democracy and social justice. It supports pro freedom and pro justice struggles of the people of other countries.


15- OIPFM fights for securing the above-mentioned values and view socialism as its ultimate aspiration which manifests those values and human intentions. It believes that capitalism system is the root of class oppression, injustice, plundering misuse of the environment, war and mass unemployment and also the root of many social disharmonies. In the beginning of the 21st century, capitalism is showing its debility in facing human difficulties which its own has created many of them. The Party believes that socialism, wherein human is the centre of attention is the only alternative which can tackle human’s issues.

16- Socialism is a human and democratic system wherein human’s free and comprehensive growth is secured and human beings have equal right and value in enjoying life’s gifts. Socialism is an integrated, peaceful, and non-violent society founded on self determination system, extensive political and economic democracy with people’s maximum participation. In terms of history, socialism is not an ultimate; on the contrary, it is a struggle to reach beyond capitalism relations.

17- The Party believes that socialism values develop within the capitalist society and socialism will expand on those values. It believes that fight toward achieving these values is human’s present responsibility and should not be postponed to tomorrow. Furthermore to political struggle, achieving socialism values requires continuous and long term mental-cultural work. OIPFM struggles for expansion and institutionalization of democratic and pro-justice thoughts, equal rights between women and men, and establishment of a modest relation between human and nature.

18- Political power, by itself is not able to fundamentally metamorphose the society. For fundamental and stable metamorphosis, scientific knowledge and culture play important roles. Existence of mental-cultural movement, fighting against non-progressive and non-scientific traditionalism, and promoting modernism and scientific thoughts are the definitive necessities in building a socialist society.

Nature of the Organization

19- The Party believes in pluralism in its organization and emphasizes on adopting new ideas and metamorphosis of the organization. It recognizes the right for various spectrums of thoughts based on views and general goals and freedom of expression of the members inside and outside of the organization. It also believes in diversity of views and united action in the organization. It tries to unify the organization forces on these general goals and views. Rather than banishing and separation, it emphasizes on coexistence of diverse thoughts and political spectra in various forms and shapes, including legitimate factions.

Associated parties

Die Linke is the closest foreign party with the OIPFM. But the OIPFM works closely with many Iranian Parties such as the Union of People's Fedaian of Iran, Tudeh Party of Iran, Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran, Provisional Council of Iranian Left Socialists, The Democratic and Secular Republicans of Iran, The United Republicans of Iran and The Komala Party of Iranian Kurdistan.

See also

External links

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