“Some Degree of Inaccuracy”
Iran Embassy Press Attaché Defends Mossadegh

Arash Norouzi
The Mossadegh Project | January 11, 2022                    


Javad Mansoor and wife Delta Mansoor In August 1952, The Washington Evening Star published a lengthy editorial titled Dictator Mossadegh. A year later, when they ran a much shorter editorial with the same title, it caught the attention of Javad Mansoor (1925-2013) of the Iranian Embassy in DC, who swiftly replied in a letter to the editor.

Mansoor was actually related to two former Prime Ministers: his father was Ali Mansour (1940-41 and 1950), and his brother was future Premier Hassan Ali Mansour (1964-65, assassinated). In 1946, while studying at the University of California, Javad met and married Delta Gray, and they soon moved to Tehran. They had two daughters at the time, Farah and Farideh (later six in all). Subsequently the family moved to Falls Church, Virginia for his diplomatic post.

In the 1960’s, under the Shah, he performed the duties of Minister of Information, Minister Without Portfolio and Secretary-General for Administration and Employment.

Mansoor had a similar letter published in The New York Times in 1952, objecting to their editorial Terror in Iran. Premier Mossadegh, needless to say, did not get very good press in America.


The Washington Evening Star, Sunday April 5, 1953





July 22, 1953
The Washington Evening Star

Dictator Mossadegh

Parliamentary government in Iran, for the most part a disorderly farce during the past two years, has now ended altogether. Paralyzed by 56 resignations in protest at the high-handedness of Premier Mossadegh, the Majlis finally has been officially dissolved and administration of the country is left to all practical purposes in the hands of the aged and emotional doctor.

These have been sorry months indeed for a country that is richly endowed in natural resources and proud in heritage. It is close today to economic collapse, and perhaps even closer to political disaster. There have been no signs that Dr. Mossadegh’s dictatorship will be more effective or efficient than his leadership of a parliamentary system that was never robust at best. There is reason to believe that things will be worse before they are better in Iran. It is tragic irony that while a country moves steadily toward self-destruction it is also, as a tempting prize to communism, jeopardizing the entire area of the Near East and creating an increasing threat to the peace of the world.


July 28, 1953
The Washington Evening Star

Situation in Iran

Your editorial “Dictator Mossadegh,” July 22, concerning the recent events in Iran and an alleged accusation of dictatorship to Dr. Mossadegh, has been read with surprise and regret. Along with the above accusation, some degree of inaccuracy was also observed.

You contend that, “Paralyzed by 56 resignations in protest at the highhandedness of Premier Mossadegh, the Majlis finally has been officially dissolved....”

First, I would like to point out that the Majlis has not been dissolved and that the deputies who have resigned are Dr. Mossadegh’s supporters, who have taken this measure in protest against the behavior of his opponents. If you study the more accurate reports from Iran, you will find that Dr. Mossadegh has expressed an intent to appeal to the people and request that—through a referendum—the people express their will as to whether the Majlis should continue to be in existence and/or whether he, Dr. Mossadegh, should continue as Premier of Iran. Would you, in all sincerity, consider such an act as dictatorship?

In another place you say, “These have been sorry months indeed for a country that is richly endowed in natural resources and proud in heritage.” On what basis you have made this statement is not clear to me. The last two and one-half years represent for Iran a period of great national and spiritual achievement. The nation has engaged in a fight to free itself from the shackles of imperialism, and any “sorry” state has been caused directly by the unfair actions of a foreign imperialist power.

Further you state, “It is tragic irony that while a country moves steadily toward self-destruction it is also, as a tempting prize of [to] communism, jeopardizing the entire area of the Near East and creating an increasing threat to the peace of the world.” It is through an illegal blockade of Iranian oil that Iranian economy has been under a “squeeze,” and the necessary reforms demanded by the people and planned by the government have not been put into practice—thus bringing about the danger of subversive activities jeopardizing the welfare of the country. No one interested in the well-being and security of the whole Near East should suggest that the countries of that region surrender to the unlawful demands of a foreign power. This security can only be achieved through the recognition of the people’s national aspirations.

I would also like to call your attention to the fact that this sort of name-calling—specially by an important newspaper such as yours—directed to a premier who has always relied upon his popular support can not achieve any useful purpose. On the contrary, it will only serve to injure the emotions of a proud people fighting for their very existence as a sovereign state among the community of free nations.

Javad Mansoor.

Press Attache, Iranian Embassy.


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Related links:

Robert Gulick, Jr.: In Defense of Iran | Washington Star, July 1951 Letter

Terrorist Ties in Iran Denied | Letter to The New York Times, July 18, 1952

In Defense Of Mossadegh | Letter to Detroit Free Press (Dec. 11, 1953)



MOSSADEGH t-shirts — “If I sit silently, I have sinned”

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