A Tale of Two Premiers
January 7, 1953 — The Brooklyn Eagle

Arash Norouzi
The Mossadegh Project | January 7, 2012                    

British Prime Minister Winston Churchill When The Brooklyn Eagle newspaper went to print with this anti-Mossadegh editorial on Wednesday, January 7, 1953, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill happened to be in town visiting the New York borough.

The previous winter, the Eagle had independently proposed placing a bronze plaque on the Brooklyn home which Churchill’s American mother was born in. Churchill had approved the idea and now came to visit 426 Henry St, former residence of Jennie Jerome (aka Lady Randolph Churchill).

Heaping praise upon Churchill and welcoming him back warmly, the paper toasted the continued alliance between the United States and England. “Anything which brings closer together these two great nations, which have long been so closely associated, is a good thing for the democracies and for the peace of the world,” they wrote.

Premier Mohammad Mossadegh In contrast, the editorial which followed their Churchill tribute, A Difficult Man, was decidedly less complimentary. The editors found the Prime Minister of Iran so exasperating, that within weeks they began openly calling for his political elimination. When Mossadegh’s treason trial verdict was announced at the end of the year, they complained bitterly about his sentence — far too lenient •

A Difficult Man

Premier Mohammed Mossadegh of Iran must be recognized as among the least predictable of world statesmen, also among the most reckless. If it were not for these well-known weaknesses, the apparent progress toward settlement of the Anglo-Iranian oil dispute could be viewed as heartening.

Developments generally in Iran, with the exception of new rioting between Communists and Rightists, have taken a favorable turn. Premier Mossadegh has asked and has received the vote of confidence which he considered essential to save him from being “stabbed in the back” while engaged in vital conferences. In addition, he has reached an agreement with American Ambassador Loy Henderson on terms of an oil compact.

The basic points conform to a general understanding reached by Secretary of State Acheson [Dean Acheson] and Foreign Secretary Eden. [Anthony Eden] While the fact must be recognized that anything can happen where Premier Mossadegh is concerned the prospect is vastly improved.

Under the proposed agreement, conflicting claims by Britain and Iran for compensation would be submitted to arbitration, oil production would be resumed by Iranian workers with technical assistance employed by Iran, the greater part of Iran’s oil production would be acquired by Britain and the United States, and Anglo-American economic assistance would be given Iran.

Premier Mossadegh has played a dangerous game. He has risked revolution, bankruptcy and Communist seizure of power. He would gain important concessions under the proposed agreement and Britain and the United States would win what they most desire, Iran’s oil, which might otherwise go to Russia.

Settlement of this conflict, which has been charged with danger, would constitute a diplomatic triumph for President Truman, [Harry S. Truman] whose efforts to end the crisis have been persistent and resourceful.

Cartoon by Les Lumsdon | Newcastle Morning Herald (Australia) Jan. 7, 1953

The U.S.-Britain Alliance To Erase Mossadegh Was Not Inevitable
The U.S.-Britain Alliance To Erase Mossadegh Was Not Inevitable

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Related links:

New Complications in Iran | Brooklyn Eagle, April 8, 1953

Unsolved Dispute With Persia | Newcastle Morning Herald, Jan. 7, 1953

Mossadeq’s New Proposals Offer No Hope For Oil Settlement (CIA, Jan. 31, 1953)

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

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