Zahedi or Chaos

September 2, 1953 — Boston Herald

The Mossadegh Project | August 12, 2014                  

Historic Massachusetts newspaper The Boston Herald endorsed pumping U.S. money into the new coup regime of Gen. Fazlollah Zahedi in an editorial dating from around September 2, 1953.

Iran Oil Consortium | Archive (1953-1954)

No Room for Haggling

President Eisenhower [Dwight D. Eisenhower] will have to reach down into the barrel for the financial aid which he has promised to General Zahedi’s new government in Iran. [Fazlollah Zahedi] The U.S. budget is tight and there is almost no leeway to borrow under the present debt limit.

But he could hardly refuse to make the gesture.

The Iranian leader snatched control of the government from teary but tyrannical Dr. Mohammed Mossadegh just as Iran was about to slip into the Communist camp. But the chief factor which was forcing Mossadegh leftward remains. The country was and is bankrupt. And no government can stand long unless it is able to restore some kind of solvency.

It is ironical, of course, that Iran, which now claims to be million in the red and unable even to meet government payrolls, has oil resources worth untold billions. But these can’t be made to pay off again for some time. The anti-British feeling on which Dr. Mossadegh capitalized in seizing the Anglo-Iranian properties is still at too high a pitch to permit any immediate settlement. And world oil consumers have adjusted to the loss of Iranian oil in any case, so that there is now no demand for it.

The Mossadegh regime literally reduced Iran to penury.

The United States, however, is less concerned with what has happened than with what may happen if stability is not restored. It is of vital importance to the West that Iran and its oil resources be kept out of Soviet hands. And the anti-Communist Zahedi government now offers the best chance of doing that.

If we give the Iranians enough to get them by for the time being, we can condition more generous later grants on a settlement of the oil dispute with Britain or on other reforms we consider desirable. We can even cut the flow off again if we don’t like the things are going. But right now there is no room for haggling. It is Zahedi or chaos and another victory for the Reds.


Related links:

Costly Stubbornness | The Morning Herald, September 12, 1954

The Commonweal Magazine on the “New Chance” in Iran | September 4, 1953

Hopeful Developments in Trouble Spots | The Brooklyn Eagle, December 10, 1953

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

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