January 12, 1953 — The Associated Press

The Mossadegh Project | February 4, 2014     

Douglas Says U.S. Should
Aid Iranian Land Reform

AP (The Associated Press) WASHINGTON – (AP) U.S. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas said Sunday night that if Premier Mossadegh of Iran gets his land reform program going the U.S. should “tie on to it” with all the help we can give.

Douglas, interviewed on CBS’ “Man of the Week” television program, said this was one example of his frequently-stated policy of backing up, with technical help, any “strong, vigorous, anti-Communist nationalist movement” in Asia or the Middle East.

He said the situation in Iran, with the land in the hands of a few men, had at one time seemed “just ripe for Communist exploitation.” But Mossadegh, he said, had defeated the Communists politically, and the United States should offer the Iranian premier help in carrying out his program.

Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas Douglas said he also believed that the Iranian oil situation should be solved by the World Bank or some other international body to pay off British investments there, and that the U.S. should then send private oil experts to help Iran produce oil.

Asked if he were recommending this country “do what the British did”, Douglas replied: “Oh heaven forbid!”

He said that “what the British did” consisted of “looking down the long nose to little people.”

The United States, he said, should lend technical help, back the loan “and let the oil start running” without interference in Iranian politics.

“The alternative”, he said, “is Russia taking over Persian oil”.

Douglas said an example of this form of aid to underdeveloped countries already had occurred in Burma.

Related links:

Mossadegh Fights For Oil in Name of Iranian PoorU.S. News & World Report, July 6, 1951

U.S. Army Radio Drama Portrays Mossadegh As Communist Foe — March 21, 1953

Truman Accused of Appeasement of Iran — The Freeman July 30, 1953

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

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