Will U.S. Lose Gamble?
July 29, 1952 — U.S. Editorial

The Mossadegh Project | July 13, 2015                     

After Premier Mossadegh resigned and was then reinstated, this U.S. commentary appeared nationally in newspapers.

Many newspapers credited it to Wade Jones, who was a staff correspondent for NEA (Newspaper Enterprise Association). Other papers ran it as their own lead editorial, with no mention of Jones (see list at the bottom of this page).

US May Lose Its Gamble
Of Aiding Troubled Iran

For a time it looked as if explosive Iran might be on the way to settling her many and serious problems in a manner which the West might look upon with favor.

The new premier, Ahmad Ghavam es-Sultaneh, [Ghavam al-Saltaneh] was believed to be pro-Western and had set as his principal goal the settlement of Iran’s oil dispute with Britain.

The United States had just launched a $22 million Point Four program for Iran this year. The money was to be used to bolster almost non-existent programs of health, rural education, and agricultural extension in the impoverished country.

But Ghavam didn’t last long enough to make even a start in settling the oil dispute. He was forced to flee for his life from rioting crowds protesting his appointment and the deposition of former premier Mohammed Mossadegh.

Shah Mohammed Riza Pahlevi [Mohammad Reza] was forced to bring the aging Mossadegh back as premier.

What doesn’t look so good for Western interests is the fact that the forces which ejected Ghavam and brought Mossadegh back are a combination ranging from the extremely nationalist Moslem Combatants [Association of Moslem Warriors, founded by Ayatollah Kashani] to the Tudeh Communist Party.

The latter joined forces for Mossadegh with the idea of forming a united front against “British and American imperialism.” The disturbing thing here is that the extreme Moslem nationalists had been considered one of the strongest barriers against communism in Iran.

Most Iranians have no great love for the West, but at the same time they have even less for the Communists. So what is Mossadegh’s position to be now in regard to the Communists, who helped bring him back to power?

In general Mossadegh is backed by the extreme nationalists and religious fanatics who don’t want anybody interfering in Iranian affairs — Westerners, Communists or anyone else. These forces are violently against any deal which would enable the Anglo-Iranian Oil Co. to get another foothold in Iran.

Against the Mossadegh forces are those represented by the Shah and Ghavam. They include the army and wealthy landholders.

They, too, don’t like the West particularly but they hate and fear communism more. They had tried to work out some deal whereby Iran’s great, idle oil industry could be put back into operation as a paying proposition to save off the imminent threat of national bankruptcy.

Dispatches from Iran reported that most Iranians believed the United States had been instrumental in Mossadegh’s leaving the government and in getting Ghavam in. But our ambassador there said this country had no concern in the matter.

But meantime there was agitation at a Communist-sponsored rally to kick out of Iran American military advisers and Point Four officials.

Which brings up this entirely pertinent point: What now happens to that $22 million Point Four program the United States was trying to rush through in Iran this year? It was an important gamble which could have resulted in some friendship for America at a world trouble point where it is badly needed. What happens to it now seems just about entirely up to Mossadegh.

Newspapers that published this as their lead editorial with no attribution to its presumed author, Wade Jones, include:

July 29, 1952: The Courier-Gazette (McKinney, Texas) —

July 29, 1952: The Courier News (Blytheville, Arkansas) —
(titled Will U.S. Lose Big Gamble On Aid for Explosive Iran?) (lead editorial)

July 29, 1952: The Deadwood Pioneer-Times (Deadwood, South Dakota) —
(titled U.S. Could Lose Big Gamble on Technical Improvement For Powder-Keg Iranian Nation)

July 29, 1952: The Lead Daily Call (Lead, South Dakota) —
(titled U.S. Could Lose Big Gamble on Technical Improvement For Powder-Keg Iranian Nation)

July 29, 1952: The Cumberland Evening News (Cumberland, Maryland) —
(titled Big Gamble On Iran)

July 30, 1952: The Statesville Record and Landmark (Statesville, North Carolina) —
(titled Iranian Picture Now Looks Much Darker)

July 30, 1952: The Rome News-Tribune (Rome, Georgia) —
(titled Troubles in Iran, Again)

July 30, 1952: The Chillicothe Gazette (Chillicothe, Ohio) —
(titled Big Gamble On Iran?) (lead editorial)

July 31, 1952: The Times-News (Twin Falls, Ohio) —
(titled A Losing Gamble?)

July 31, 1952: The Sandusky Register (Sandusky, Ohio) —
(titled Big Gamble on Aiding Iran)

August 1, 1952: The Owosso Argus-Press (Owosso, Michigan) —
(titled Will U.S. Lose Big Gamble on Aid For Explosive Iran?)

August 4, 1952: The Suffolk News-Herald (Suffolk, Virginia) —
(titled Will U.S. Lose Its Big Gamble On Aid for Explosive Iran?)

* July 30, 1952: The Daily Times (New Philadelphia, Ohio) —
(titled Will U.S. Lose Big Gamble On Aid for Explosive Iran?) (lead editorial, credited to Wade Jones)

* August 2, 1952: The Leavenworth Times (Leavenworth, Texas) titled it What Happened in Iran? and added Wade Jones’ name at the very end.

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Related links:

After Mossadegh the Deluge | The Alsop Brothers, August 13, 1952

Iran Stays On Skids | July 24, 1952 editorial

The Communist Danger in Persia | Britain’s 1952 Report to U.S.

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

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