Mossadegh Is Called Secret Cookie Nibbler
April 11, 1954 — The Associated Press

Arash Norouzi
The Mossadegh Project | April 1, 2014                               

In this paragon of hard-hitting American journalism, the Associated Press exposed a shocking detail from Mossadegh’s treason trial in April 1954.

The New York Times headlined it Mossadegh Is Called Secret Cookie Nibbler, while The Walla Walla Union Bulletin titled it Former Iran Premier Called Cookie Nibbler. The nibbler charge was too heavy to resist for one Virginia newspaper, who reacted with a brave editorial, A Cookie Nibbler Cannot Be A Hero.

In October 1961, the ‘cookie nibbler’ yarn would resurface in an article in The New York Times Magazine called The Fine Art of Fasting. A historical review of hunger strikes through the ages by Grace H. Gluek, Mossadegh was cited as an example of those who had been caught ‘cheating’ during their fasts:

Some professed abstainers, however, have actually been caught sneaking food, as was the case with ex-Premier Mohammed Mossadegh of Iran who, imprisoned for rebellion against the Shah in 1953, staged a number of hunger strikes to attract more newspaper attention to his case. Jail officials, claiming he fasted only between meals, denounced him as “a secret cookie nibbler” who also took chocolate and vitamin pills in the dead of night.

Former Iran Premier Called Cookie Nibbler

Former Iran Premier Called Cookie Nibbler - AP (The Associated Press) TEHERAN, Iran, April 11 (AP)—Former Premier Mohammed Mossadegh maintained tonight that he was still on a hunger strike, but his chief prosecutor has branded him a secret cookie nibbler.

Dr. Mossadegh, whose one-session boycott of the Army Appeal Court petered out when six officers fetched him from his room during the morning, appealed to the court:

“I can’t stand up any longer. I’m too weak. Can I sit down and read my bill? I have not eaten.”

But Brig. Gen. Hossein Azmoudeh, the prosecutor, told the court: “He’s been eating. He ate sweets last night in the darkness.” [Hossein Azemoudeh]

Later he told a reporter: “He eats cookies, chocolate, and vitamin tablets when the guards are not looking.”

Mossadegh proclaimed himself on hunger strike yesterday morning. He wants a bigger audience in the court room and the full text of his testimony and defense bill published in the Iranian papers.

“I will continue the hunger strike until I die,” Mossadegh told the court. “Maybe in three days or at most four days I will die and you’ll be able to get rid of me.”

At Mossadegh’s request to sit down, the court chairman declared: “If you feel too weak and unable to read your bill, give it to your lawyer to read.” He added hastily “I’m not forcing you. It’s up to you.”

Mossadegh handed a sheaf of sheets to his lawyer who started to intone the contents — estimated at 60 handwritten pages.

Divvying Up the Loot: The Iran Oil Consortium Agreement of 1954
Divvying Up the Loot: The Iran Oil Consortium Agreement of 1954


Related links:

Let’s Rassle | U.S. Editorial, December 7, 1953

Mossadegh Denies Authority of Court | The Associated Press, November 11, 1953

Elvis Presley and Mossadegh Are Rubbish, Said The Cedar Rapids Gazette | Sept. 14, 1956

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

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