From Rags to Riches

August 11, 1952 — The Bakersfield Californian

The Mossadegh Project | January 5, 2016                    

This editorial in a Bakersfield, California newspaper was inspired by a widely syndicated AP columnist, James Marlow.

Senators Fight Mossadegh

Nudged back into office following a temporary vacation caused by a brief lapse of popularity, Premier Mohammed Mossadegh, the weeping wizard of Iran, is having his troubles, however.

He wants to be a dictator and the Iranian Senate opposes his ambition. The obdurate senators hail the constitution of the land and say that it prevents such a move. But before enthusiastic devotees to the sanctity of constitutions begin to shout cheers for the senators, an examination of motives may be in order.

Associated Press writer James Marlow gives some information which proves enlightening in connection with the sturdy support given the constitutional aspects of the matter by the Iranian senators. [Aug. 8th column] Mr. Marlow points out that while the Anglo Iranian Oil Company was operating in the country, the revenues from the company paid nearly all the bills of the country. The remainder was made up from customs and excise levies. There was no tax on land. This, naturally, pleased the big landowners, and everything was fine.

Since the country is composed of the very rich and the very poor, there was no sizable middle class to object to whatever taxation fell upon the people. But when Mossadegh removed the British from the Iranian oil industry and the revenue dried up, things began to change. The fact Iran had a tax law which includes land came to light.

But to put it into effect, indeed would require dictatorial powers for the premier, because the landowners are still as reluctant to pay their taxes as they ever were. The prospect of having to do so no doubt has impelled a lot of them to remind the senators of the sanctity of the constitution, especially those parts limiting the power of the premier.


Related links:

Wealthy To Aid Poor Tenant Farmers | James Marlow, August 14, 1952

Iranian Peasants See ‘New Deal’ | Associated Press, March 4, 1953

Iran’s Nationalism a Tool Of a Reckless Ruling Class | Weekly People, August 16, 1952

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

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