“An Unprecedented Event...”

Ali Amini's Statement on Iran Oil Deal (1954)

Arash Norouzi

The Mossadegh Project | August 26, 2019                       

Iranian Premier Ali Amini (1905-1992)

Following the conclusion of negotiations to establish the Iran Oil Consortium, several principal officials involved released statements marking the occasion. This undated propaganda from Ali Amini was probably released on August 5, 1954, in conjunction with the others.

Iran Oil Consortium | Archive (1953-1954)

August 5, 1954

I am very glad to be able to announce to the Iranian nation the conclusion of the oil negotiations after four months of full and thorough discussion.

This success which has been achieved in regard to the resuscitation of our oil industry, bringing with it a large income to Iran, and preserving the interests of the Iranian nation, within the framework of the Nationalization Law, is due to the manly [sic—many] struggles, interrogations and perseverence [sic] in the face of privations to which the brave and heroic people of Iran committed themselves three years ago in order to prove their liability, to strengthen the foundations of their independence and to exalt the glorious flag of this ancient land. In consequence they took into their own hands one of the richest resources of their country, and, with the enactment of the Nationalization Law, smoothed the way for the exploitation of this great industry, thereby securing the realization of maximum imports from this source, and providing full opportunities for Iranian youth to display and develop their competence.

Had this heroic rising and its output, namely the nationalization of the oil industry, not been impaired by certain errors, had this essentially commercial and technical matter not been complicated by political objectives and conflicts arising therefrom, had the courageous struggles of this nation not been utilized as a means of acquiring power and as a weapon for making effective various menaces, our country would not have been stripped during all this period of the benefits of this reasonable source of wealth. Unfortunately much valuable time was lost as a result of mistakes and lack of appropriate knowledge on the part of responsible officials.

The true objective of the Iranian nation in nationalizing the oil industry was to secure a greater income and an improvement in public care, but this objective was lost sight of in the tornado of political designs and struggles, and the useful opportunities which presented themselves as a result of the urgent needs of world markets for Iranian oil were lost one after another. Consequently a situation developed in which the people gradually despaired of our oil industry being ever revived.

In fact they found themselves facing a disastrous future fraught with poverty, economic crises, and financial bankruptcy, and inevitably tending towards the decline and total ruin of the country.

During the three years in which our oil wells were shut down, and Abadan stood still, oil production in the Middle-East expanded considerably, and within a short time the oilfields of Kuwait and Iraq filled the gap caused by the stoppage of Iranian oil. Refineries great and small were constructed in various countries, removing the need of those countries for refined products. Economic considerations prompted the great oil Companies to increase the output of areas such as Kuwait. All these developments placed great difficulties in the way of the possibility of reviving Iran’s petroleum industry.

The removal of these commercial and technical difficulties required extra efforts. Had it not been for the policy which the Iranian Government adopted under His Imperial Majesty’s guidance and whereby it brought about, with utmost goodwill and perseverence, [sic] an atmosphere of good understanding, and had this achievement not been accompanied by the moral support of the great Western Powers in making recommendations to their Oil Companies, the success which we have realized in the present world circumstances would have been impossible.

The formation of a consortium of the great oil companies involving diverse nationalities is an unprecedented event in the history of the oil industry, and the agreement which is going to be concluded between the Consortium and the National Iranian Oil Company on the basis of purchase and sale of oil is in its kind without parallel.

I hope that, with the solution of the oil problem and the flow of large quantities of Iranian oil in the near future towards world markets, a considerable improvement will occur in the economies and finances of our country, and the people of Iran will benefit from better social conditions and greater happiness as a result of the exploitation of this source of natural wealth.

In conclusion I must express my appreciation of the sincere co-operation and goodwill displayed by the Consortium’s representatives through the negotiations, thereby contributing to the progress of the whole matter and to the effort for finding a suitable solution to the complicated and difficult problems involved.

I am particularly grateful and indebted to Mr. Howard Page, the Chairman of the Consortium’s Delegation who, with his outstanding qualifications, ability and sound judgment has played an important role in the success of these negotiations. I also have to express my deep regret that Orville Harden who co-operated with us so sincerely and effectively during the first stage of these discussions was prevented from taking part in the ensuing discussions by reason of ill-health.

Divvying Up the Loot: The Iran Oil Consortium Agreement of 1954
Divvying Up the Loot: The Iran Oil Consortium Agreement of 

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Related links:

Joint Statement by Howard Page and Ali Amini on Iran Oil Deal (1954)

British Foreign Office Statement on Iran Oil Consortium (1954)

Iranian Reactions To Oil Consortium Proposals | CIA (April 28, 1954)

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

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