Iran’s Break with Britain Puts Burden Upon the U.S.
October 21, 1952 — U.S. Editorial

Arash Norouzi
The Mossadegh Project | May 19, 2015                     

This propagandistic, dishonest non-syndicated editorial ran in various newspapers across the great land of the United States of America.

Note the language choices, particularly in the final sentence, which sound more like an executive declaration than a mere independent commentary. It’s almost as though the State Department was issuing a coordinated foreign policy edict with the British Foreign Office.

Cutting Off His Nose

Premier Mohammed Mossadegh’s announcement that he was forced to cut off diplomatic relations with Britain because that country would not accept his terms to settle the oil issue between them is factual as far as it goes. What he did not say was that he had held a gun to the British and naturally, they wouldn’t be intimidated. [The reason for the split was continued British interference in the country and the discovery of a British coup plot against the government.]

Mossadegh’s action is the natural culmination of eighteen months of threats and bluster that included the United States as well as Britain. It was part of his expropriation of British oil rights and nationalization of the great oil industry, both of which he had a right to do. What he did not have a right to do was take them without compensation. [Iran had every intention of compensating Britain] That is where he stubbed his toe against a British adamant in protecting the rights of its national, the Anglo-Iranian Oil Co.

What Mossadegh counted on, he frankly told his countrymen, was that Britain would pay more heed to the present world situation. [Oh?] In other words, since Iran is a sensitive spot in the cold war, Britain should agree to his outrageous terms simply to hold his country in line for the West. Britain would not be so blackmailed.

Mossadegh has cut off his nose to spite his face. By slamming the door on negotiations and cutting off a friendly relation that has persisted for nearly a century between the land of the Shah and the British Empire, [Including conspiring with Imperial Russia in 1907 to divide Iran into their zones of influence and the British invasion and occupation of the country during both World Wars?] he has all but deprived his people of their best chance of attaining economic independence.

It remains for the United States, in the role of friend to both parties, to bring him back to the realities of common decency and good manners. Our interest is as vital in keeping Iran on the side of freedom as Britain’s and we will not relax our efforts to rectify Mossadegh’s great blunder.

Newspapers who ran this editorial under their masthead included:

The Blizzard (Oil City, Pennsylvania) — October 21, 1952 (lead editorial)
The Idaho State Journal (Pocatello, Idaho) — October 23, 1952 (lead editorial)
The Owosso Argus-Press (Owosso, Michigan) — October 25, 1952 (titled Iran’s Break with Britain Puts Burden Upon the U.S.)


Related links:

George Middleton’s Letter to Foreign Office on Iran (Oct. 1952)

Iran’s Nose | April 24, 1954 editorial

Premier Of Iran Even Outdoing Russians With His Rudeness | Drew Pearson, Sept. 11,1952

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

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