WPI Briefing: The Central Committee's 15th plenum took place during 15 to 17 March 2002. What was discussed at the plenum?
Koorosh Modaresi: As was announced in the WPI's official communiqué, the plenum initially discussed the election of new advisors to the Central Committee. The 14th plenum had decided to increase the number of advisors to 40; consequently 21 new advisors had to be elected and a commission was chosen to do this. The commission put forth a list of candidates to the vote of the Central Committee; its results were reported to and verified by the 15th plenum. Consequently, the number of Central Committee members and advisors now stands at 71.
The next item for discussion was the report on Mansoor Hekmat's medical condition. After this, the Standing Committee, the Party's standing leadership, reported on the Party's activities during two plenums. Following this, the plenum discussed in detail and at length the Party's leadership during the period in which Mansoor Hekmat is unable to play an active role. The proposed Civil Rights Committee was then discussed. The next item of discussion was the situation of the Islamic Republic of Iran, opposition forces and the WPI's role, which was basically about the process of the overthrow of the Islamic Republic, various alternatives, the Party's position and the importance of people joining our ranks. Finally, as in all plenums, the Chair of the Central Committee and a Political Bureau were elected. In the Political Bureau's meeting which took place immediately after the plenum, the Chair of the Political Bureau and the members of the WPI's Standing Committee, that is the leadership of the Party, were elected.
WPI Briefing: You talked about Mansoor Hekmat's illness. After the Party's press releases on this, many have called both from Iran and abroad to inquire about his health. What can you tell us about this?
Koorosh Modaresi: First, I must sincerely thank all those from Iran and abroad, supporters of the Party and Mansoor Hekmat who have constantly inquired about his health via e-mail, telephone, letters and messages. On behalf of the Party, I would like to thank all these dear friends.
Mansoor Hekmat has cancer, a dangerous and difficult illness. We have tried to ensure that he receives the best available medical treatment possible. He is currently being treated; as those familiar with this illness know, however, its results are unfortunately not promptly known. The treatment itself takes some time, and after the completion of this round of treatment, exact medical tests will be run to determine the results. The treatment has been going on for several weeks now and the doctors are generally hopeful of the results. We have no choice but to wait for a few more months for the actual results, however, in order to see how much we can really rely on these hopes. What is clear is that the treatment is continuing and we too, like our dear friends who have inquired about Mansoor Hekmat's health, are awaiting the results. It is difficult but there is no other way. We must wait.
WPI Briefing: This was the first Central Committee plenum in which Mansoor Hekmat was absent. How did the Central Committee deal with this absence and what was the general atmosphere of the meeting?
Koorosh Modaresi: Irrespective of the fact that this was the first and only plenum that Mansoor Hekmat did not participate in, his role in our Party is not unknown. Mansoor Hekmat has been and is the backbone, eyes and brains of this Party. Mansoor Hekmat's role and position not only in this Party but also in the communist movement and politics of Iran are not hidden from anyone. Naturally, in such a plenum and for those who have worked with him closely and for many years and have tried to participate in projects and objectives that he has initiated, his absence and especially his illness was a serious strain. In my opinion, the plenum had two aspects. On the one hand, it was an environment of deep affection for Mansoor Hekmat, a conscious atmosphere in recognising and appreciating his role and hoping that he will be able to continue this role. By appreciating, I don't only mean having gratitude but recognising and knowing what issues face the Party. On the other hand, in my opinion, the plenum confidently, bravely and profoundly dealt with the dimensions of new issues facing the Party, its leadership and the communist movement and the forthcoming revolution in Iran in general in the absence of Mansoor Hekmat. The plenum discussed this in detail; practically all the participants of the plenum, including an 8 person delegation from the Worker Communist Party of Iraq, took part in this discussion. The plenum looked at the difficulties facing the Party, its leadership, the communist movement and the revolution in Iran in a professional and brave manner and tried to find solutions to the difficulties which are not hidden from anyone. It is not possible to fill Mansoor Hekmat's place in this Party but the plenum tried to focus on and set into motion activities and functions, which are to be objectively fulfilled for the Party to achieve the objectives that Mansoor Hekmat has placed before this Party and with the speed with which he had in mind. The plenum discussed and debated the Party's problems, resources and potential in detail. It also discussed the leadership's shortcomings and potential.
WPI Briefing No. 51, 27 March 2002