A Horrible Example

October 3, 1951 — U.S. Editorial

Arash Norouzi

The Mossadegh Project | May 15, 2015                     

In anticipation of Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadeghís United Nations mission, New York newspapers The Knickerbocker News (October 3rd) and The Elmira Star-Gazette (October 5th) ran this piece as their lead editorial. Aside from the date, the only difference was that the Star-Gazette bolded the final paragraph.

Thereís probably no way to know who the actual author was, and itís possible there were others who published it, too. One thing to consider is that The Knickerbocker News regularly printed editorials that were in other papers as their own.


Decision by Iranís Premier Mohammed Mossadegh to attend personally the United Nations debate on the question of Persian oil naturally could be subject to a variety of interpretations—including one that the Persian premier canít resist the temptation to stand in the world spotlight.

We prefer to believe, however, that it means either that the ruling regime in Iran believes it has a case that will stand up before the bar of world opinion, or it fears the consequences of arbitrary refusal to plead its cause before the U.N.

Either of the latter reasons would be encouraging. For if the Mossadegh government thinks it has a just complaint, there is the implication that it will be slow to reject the judgment of the U.N. And if it is apprehensive of the reaction of other nations, perhaps the willingness to defy Britain is not so sweeping as to embrace the entire Western world.

Sir Gladwyn Jebb, British delegate to the Security Council, made some telling points in his address before that body last Monday. Not the least of these was the claim that Iranís reckless pledge violation would discourage the investment of Western funds in backward nations all over the globe.

Many small nations today are seeking financial help to exploit and develop their natural resources. And since such aid, once granted, would constitute an exact parallel of the Iran situation, capital can be expected to shy away after such a horrible example.

This in itself promises to prevent the U.N. discussion of the affair from becoming a contest between great and small countries. Premier Mossadegh will, naturally, have the support of the Communist bloc. [not necessarily!] But it wonít be friendly support; rather, a case of the common enemy.

Indeed, Soviet approval is becoming more and more like a kiss of death because of the new spirit of Western solidarity—particularly as it was displayed at San Francisco.

What Went Wrong in Iran? | Amb. Henry Grady Tells All (1952)
What Went Wrong in Iran? | Saturday Evening Post, Jan. 5, 1952

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Related links:

Mossadegh Cites Quest of LibertyThe Associated Press, October 22, 1951

Mossadegh Acts Like A Madman | The Times Record, Oct. 2, 1951

IRAN: Empty Hands | TIME magazine, November 26, 1951

MOSSADEGH t-shirts — ďIf I sit silently, I have sinnedĒ

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