Simple Animosity

October 19, 1951 — U.S. Editorial

Arash Norouzi

The Mossadegh Project | May 31, 2015                     

Here’s some pretzel logic for you. Though recognizing that Britain was the common denominator of much rancor with foreign nations, the conclusion of this repugnant 1951 editorial was that only the subjects of British imperialism were the “arrogant” party in the equation.

The editorial also asserted that Egyptian and Iranian leaders were exploiting nationalist fervor to consolidate power, yet bizarrely claimed that Premier Mossadegh of Iran lacked supporters (what happened to all those fanatical nationalists?), had “no legal claim” to his position, and was dependent on “terrorism” to maintain himself!

Woes in the Near East

The crisis in Iran and in Egypt seem to have certain factors in common. The most obvious is that both concern relations with Great Britain, with simple animosity toward the British playing a large part in the trend of the dealings. It appears that the Iranians want chiefly to get the British out of their oil fields, and the Egyptians want to get them out of the Suez region. In both cases there are strong evidences that the Mohammedan rulers are playing on the nationalistic feelings of their people to strengthen their own holds on their offices of power.

Mohammed Mossadegh has such a small political following that he really has no legal claim to the premiership of Iran; he obtained his office through terrorism and probably sees no other way to keep it. For some time leaders in Egypt have been extremely sensitive on the subjects of public demands on the legislature and scandals around the throne. A fine display of public approval was drummed up for legislative acts renouncing the Suez treaty and taking over the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan.

Apparently the rulers of Iran and Egypt feel a need to be assertive in world affairs, even to be arrogant to create an uproar. Unfortunately they have chosen the device of tearing up treaties imperiling the peace not only of the Mediterranean but of the whole world. Skillful diplomacy will be needed to undo the damage already wrought, and there seems to be more to come.

Newspapers that published this editorial included:

The Record-Argus (Greenville, Pennsylvania) — October 19, 1951
The Corsicana Daily Sun (Corsicana, Texas) — October 25, 1951 (lead editorial)
The Corsicana Semi-Weekly Light (Corsicana, Texas) — October 30, 1951
The Town Talk (Alexandria, Louisiana) — November 1, 1951


Related links:

Middle East: The Old Game | TIME magazine, January 21, 1952

Trying Mossadegh’s Tactics | United Press International, July 31, 1956

Power Politics Has Its Price | The Times Record, August 2, 1952

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

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