Power Vacuum
October 12, 1951 — The Abilene Reporter-News

The Mossadegh Project | October 18, 2021                    

An editorial on Iran in The Abilene Reporter-News newspaper of Abilene, Texas.

U.S. In Middle East

One opinion is that Iran’s main purpose in throwing the British out of Abadan was to create a situation under which the United States could be induced to pick up the pieces and operate the Iranian oil industry, either through a U.S.-appointed commission, or by placing it in the hands of American operating companies.

Certainly the U.S. companies in the Middle East have been more realistic and flexible in dealing with native governments and peoples there. They were quick to give the native governments a more generous slice of the profits, perhaps because they were private-enterprise outfits, whereas the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company is government-owned, therefore eternally snarled in redtape.

Be that as it may, observers note that British officialdom and the British public are becoming more and more distrustful and suspicious of American influence in the Middle East. Some have made the charge that the U.S. seeks to supplant Britain in that area.

So far as we know, any such development will be the outgrowth of British failure to keep her hold on the Middle East, and if the U.S. does move in it will be from necessity — to prevent Russia from filling a vacuum.

The British, by pulling out of Greece and tossing the economic, political and military burden of Greek defense into our lap, set the pattern for the sort of development Britain now fears — that is, the substitution of U.S. power and prestige for the long-time British dominance in the Middle East.

The U.S. has handled the Iranian affair with kid gloves, probably a case of leaning backward to avoid giving offense to Britain. Nevertheless, the debacle in Iran has hurt the Western World’s program of peace-through-strength, and as the principal stakeholder in the West, the U.S. has suffered most of all from that debacle. If we must assume leadership in Iran because of British failure, it can be justified on the ground that abandonment of Iran would benefit nobody but Russia.

Lessons of Korea | Republican Arraigns U.S. War (Nov. 1951)
Lessons of Korea | Republican Arraigns U.S. War (Nov. 1951)

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Related links:

U.S. Oil Kings Air Iran Concerns With State Department (Oct. 10, 1951)

Regardless Of What It Does In Iran, The U.S. Will Be Criticized (July 31, 1952)

Anti-U.S. Feeling in Iran | Binghamton Press, August 5, 1952

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