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November 15, 1951 — The Baltimore Sun

The Mossadegh Project | December 6, 2022                   

An editorial on Iran in The Baltimore Sun newspaper (Baltimore, Maryland).

Mossadegh’s Immense Audacity

American efforts to mediate the Anglo-Iranian oil dispute have now broken down; and the breakdown emphasizes the extreme audacity of the game which Mr. Mossadegh is playing. The total stoppage of oil production in Iran robbed the Iranian Government of a revenue amounting to $12,000,000 a month, a huge sum by Iranian standards. The Iranian Government is already reduced to such want that it has been unable to pay its soldiers and its jobholders for two months. It is headed on a fast train for bankruptcy.

At home in Iran, the pro-Communist Tudeh party awaits the return of Mossadegh and the bankruptcy of his government like a gaggle of vultures. Considering that Iran shares a 1,500-mile border with Soviet Russia and that Soviet Russia has repeatedly made aggressive gestures toward Iran, it is easy to see what this means. The British have in fact counted on the threat of financial collapse and the threat of communism as factors which would ultimately compel Premier Mossadegh to accept a reasonable settlement of the oil controversy.

Premier Mossadegh’s immense audacity consists of the fact that he has appropriated these two trump cards for his own use. What he is saying, as an argument to compel Great Britain to settle on his terms, is precisely what the British have been saying as an argument to compel him to settle on their terms; namely, that if the British don't accept his terms, Iran will go broke, there will very probably be a trumped-up revolution and his country will be swallowed up by the Russians.

He is assuming that such a prospect is even more unwelcome to the British Government (and of course to the American Government) than it is to him. It is doubtful whether a more daring bluff than this has been attempted at any time during the hard-hitting diplomacy of the past five years.

What Went Wrong in Iran? | Amb. Henry Grady Tells All (1952)
What Went Wrong in Iran? | Saturday Evening Post, Jan. 5, 1952

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Related links:

UN Last, Best Hope Left For Settlement In Iran | Oct. 1, 1951

A Curious Form of ‘Oppression’ | Montreal Gazette, Oct. 6, 1951

Dry Those Big Tears, Mr. Mossadegh | Calgary Herald, June 1951

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

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