Ungrateful Iranians

August 5, 1952 — The Binghamton Press

The Mossadegh Project | October 10, 2013                  

This was the lead editorial in The Binghamton Press (Binghamton, New York) newspaper on Tuesday evening, August 5, 1952. It contained grossly inaccurate assertions about the nature of U.S. aid to Iran and alleged anti-Americanism among its people.

Anti-U.S. Feeling in Iran

Although the United States has given Iran just about every kind of aid in recent years, anti-American feeling, based on Iranian xenophobia, rages throughout the country.

AMERICAN TAXPAYERS HAVE provided Iran with arms costing tens of millions. American aid has been given in agriculture, in modernization and equipping of police and military forces, in disease control, in education. The list is endless.

Americans are the most disliked of all peoples by the Iranians. Iranian mobs, doubtless getting inspiration from Communists, cry for withdrawal of U.S. military missions. Latest outcry is for oil deposits on Bahrein Island, owned and operated by American companies.

Bahrein [sic — Bahrain] is an island off Saudi Arabia, 135 miles across the Persian Gulf from Iran. Although the Iranians might have difficulty in taking over the island, there is a substantial Iranian colony on the island that might cause serious trouble. Bahrein is a British protectorate, by treaty between the Sheik and Great Britain. The oil concession was granted in 1925 to a British company, which transferred it two years later to an American company, Gulf Oil. In 1929 the concession was acquired by Standard Oil of California, which later sold one-half to the Texas Company.

OIL PRODUCTION BEGAN in 1933. Annual yield and reserves are relatively small. But it is an addition to other important oil production in the region. Standard of California and Texas own a productive concession elsewhere in Arabia, Gulf has 50 per cent of a concession in the northeast tip of Arabia (Kuwait), and Standard of New Jersey and Socony-Vacuum share in a concession on the Arabian coast near Bahrein.

Iranians argue that the British concession on Bahrein was invalid when granted, because the island belonged to Iran (Persia) when occupied by the family of the present Sheik, away back in 1782. The British (and American) answer is that even if this means anything today, the old Iranian ownership was more a theory than an actuality.

IF THE UNITED STATES is capable of learning anything from the failures of its foreign policies, Iran should stand for the truism that generosity doesn’t always win friends. The Iranians, by all logic that doesn't take account of human nature, should feel warm and cordial toward Americans. Instead, Americans are more disliked than the British in Iran. Iran is not a lone example that giving away billions to help others falls short of its objective. Among countries receiving U.S. aid, Iran doesn't stand alone to demonstrate that friendship cannot be bought.

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Related links:

We Asked For It. | The Times Record, November 19, 1951

U.S. Is Reported Ready To Resume Arms Aid To Iran | Associated Press, April 25, 1952

Holocaust | The Citizen-Advertiser, October 18, 1951

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

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