Mossadegh Plays Hard To Get
September 10, 1952 — U.S. Editorial

The Mossadegh Project | November 30, 2017                    

The political commentary presented here ran in numerous American newspapers in Sept. 1952. With few exceptions, each paper featured it as their lead editorial.

Obviously, the piece was not original, despite their claims to the contrary. So who actually wrote it? It was actually syndicated columnist Bruce Biossat ó at least three papers credited him as the alleged author of the ďeditorialĒ. A partial list of its many appearances, along with various title modifications, can also be viewed below.


The renewal of efforts to obtain a settlement of the Iranian oil dispute probably ought to to be viewed as heartening. But thus far Premier Mossadegh has been making the same old noises and hope of real results is slim.

Prime Minister Churchill and President Truman offered fresh proposals because they know Iran is in difficult financial straits through loss of markets for its oil. [Winston Churchill and Harry Truman] The West could use the oil. But the primary impulse toward settlement is the fear that a tottering Iranian economy might make the nation easy prey to a Moscow-inspired Communist coup.

These problems, of course, have existed all along. The Churchill-Truman offer at this time suggests that the West feels Mossadegh might be more approachable now that he has felt the heavy financial pressure of the past several months.

But Mossadegh has shown no sign of readiness to give way. He knows the West trembles at the prospect his government might collapse and be replaced by a Red regime. Therefore he seems to feel that time is on his side, that if he can just hold out long enough the West will concede his full terms.

Those terms are stiff. Undoubtedly he wants a much bigger loan from America than the $10 million proposed now by Mr. Truman. More than that, in his anti-British fury he wants absolutely no concession of any sort to the British who built and managed the Iranian oil facilities and now find themselves out in the cold.

The Churchill-Truman plan would submit all questions of compensation to the British for settlement by the World Court. Mossadegh has rejected that solution flatly.

As a matter of fact, he has publicly rejected the whole program in a drastic, three-page statement that appeared to shut the door to future negotiations. But, in accord with past practice, Iranian officials have at the same time privately attempted to keep the door to negotiations open.

Mossadegh seems to believe that this little game is shrewd and is bound to pay off. He behaves as if he holds all the cards and merely needs to play them. But he already has made one major mistake. He thought the West needed Iranian oil desperately, and would come around long ago. In fact, the West, though at some pains to do so, found other sources of oil and is adding new refining capacity elsewhere. Today it is not waiting for a single barrel of Iranian petroleum.

What Mossadegh is doing is extremely risky. It may gratify his passion to hate the Britishóand serve similarly the nationalist fanaticism of his people. But at the same moment it is placing in grave jeopardy an important Middle East economy that was one on the way to being sound.

Mossadegh appears to forget that if his government and his economy should crumble, it would not be just the West that would lose. The Iranian people have quite a stake themselves ó nothing less than their freedom. Mossadegh is playing fast and loose with the destiny of his people, not to realize legitimate nationalist aspirations, but to satisfy unreasoning hatreds.

List of newspapers included:

The Rhinelander Daily News (Rhinelander, Wisconsin) — Sept. 10, 1952 (Hard To Get)
The Daily Inter Lake (Kalispell, Montana) — Sept. 10, 1952 (lead: Mossadegh Plays Hard To Get)
The News-Herald (Franklin, Pennsylvania) — Sept. 10, 1952 (lead: MOSSADEGH STILL PLAYING HARD TO GET)
The Courier News (Blytheville, Arkansas) — Sept. 11, 1952 (lead: Mossadegh Is Careless With Iranís Freedom)
The Mt. Vernon Register-News (Mt. Vernon, Illinois) — Sept. 11, 1952 (lead: MOSSADEGH PLAYS HARD TO GET WITH IRANíS FREEDOM AT STAKE)
The Franklin Evening Star (Franklin, Indiana) — Sept. 11, 1952 (lead: Plays Hard To Get)
The Centralia Evening Sentinel (Centralia, Illinois) — Sept. 11, 1952 (MOSSADEGH PLAYS GAMES WITH IRANíS FREEDOM)
The Anderson Daily Bulletin (Anderson, Indiana) — Sept. 11, 1952 (lead: Iranís Freedom at Stake)
The Evening Standard (Uniontown, Pennsylvania) — Sept. 11, 1952 (lead: Mossadegh Plays Hard To Get)
The Daily Times (New Philadelphia, Ohio) — Sept. 11, 1952 (lead: Mossadegh Playing Hard To Get; Iran Freedom At Stake by Bruce Biossat)
The Lead Daily Call (Lead, South Dakota) — Sept. 12, 1952 (lead: Mossadegh Toys With Freedom of His Nation Driven On By Blind Hatred of British Flag)
The Logansport Press (Logansport, Indiana) — Sept. 12, 1952 (lead: Mossadegh Plays Hard To Get With Iranís Freedom At Stake)
The Republic (Columbus, Indiana) — Sept. 12, 1952 (Mossadegh Plays Hard To Get)
The Deadwood Pioneer-Times (Deadwood, South Dakota) — Sept. 12, 1952 (lead: Mossadegh Toys With Freedom Of His Nation, Driven On By Blind Hatred Of British)
The Kingston Daily Freeman (Kingston, New York) — Sept. 12, 1952 (lead: IRANíS FREEDOM AT STAKE)
The Longview News-Journal (Longview, Texas) — Sept. 12, 1952 (lead: Mossadegh Plays Fast And Loose With Iran)
The Abilene Reporter-News (Abilene, Texas) — Sept. 13, 1952 (Mossy Plays With Fire)
The Herald and News (Klamath Falls, Oregon) — Sept. 13, 1952 (as Bruce Biossat column)
The Bryan Daily Eagle (Bryan, Texas) — Sept. 14, 1952 (lead: title?)
The Ogden Standard-Examiner (Ogden, Utah) — Sept. 14, 1952 (lead: Mossadegh on Risky Ground)
The Index-Journal (Greenwood, South Carolina) — Sept. 15, 1952 (under "BIOSSAT'S VIEWS")
The Daily Ardmoreite (Ardmore, Oklahoma) — Sept. 15, 1952 (lead: Mossadegh Plays Hard to Get)
The Carrol Daily Times Herald (Carroll, Iowa) — Sept. 15, 1952 (lead: Plays Hard to Get With Iranís Freedom at Stake)
The Bismarck Tribune (Bismarck, North Dakota) — Sept. 15, 1952 (lead: Mossadegh Plays Hard to Get)
The Panama City News-Herald (Panama City, Florida) — Sept. 15, 1952 (lead: Mossadegh Plays Risky Game)
The Courier-Gazette (McKinney, Texas) — Sept. 15, 1952 (lead: MOSSADEGH PLAYS HARD TO GET WITH IRANíS FREEDOM AT STAKE)
The Olean Times Herald (Olean, New York) — Sept. 15, 1952 (They ran Biossatís column with full credit, title: Mossadegh Plays Hard to Get With Iranís Freedom at Stake)
The Times News (Twins Falls, Idaho) — Sept. 26, 1952 (omits last three paragraphs, lead: IRANIAN OIL DISPUTE)


Related links:

It Proves One Thing — November 19, 1953 editorial

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

Mossy and the Pistol | The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Sept. 2, 1952

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

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