Keeping Up With the Joneses

September 11, 1952 — The Calgary Herald

The Mossadegh Project | June 6, 2023                

An editorial on Iran in The Calgary Herald newspaper (Calgary, Alberta, Canada).

Canadian media archive

The Boys From Denver Take Over

While the representatives of Great Britain and the United States treat with the alternately crying and glowering Mossadegh, the little men with the magic deals are slipping in and out of Persia at an amazing rate.

Latest to head for Teheran, we see, is our old friend and greatest promoter for the “have-not” nations, Hjalmar Schacht. [former German Finance Minister] Last we heard of him he was trying to make an honest buck out of the Indonesians, but that Idle Oil in Persia must have been of more interest to him.

In Teheran, he should meet a fine collection of dealers. There are a couple of Denver men who are reported to have quite a deal on which would deliver millions of barrels of Iranian oil to the United States market. We wonder if their scheme has anything to do with a man named Jones who went to Teheran a week or so ago. [W. Alton Jones] Why he’s there, no one knows. But Jones, W. A., is president of Cities Service Oil Company and the Denver men are alleged to be planning to sell Persian oil to Cities Service. The oil would then be transported to the United States in tankers owned by a New York broker.

All this is very confusing and wouldn’t seem likely to improve cordiality between the British and American representatives who have been jousting with Mossadegh and offering (with Churchill’s and Truman’s blessing) a new deal in the oil dispute. How these promoters expect to siphon off the Persian oil which Anglo-Iranian Oil Company still claims in the world courts is hard to see. Perhaps they have forgotten about the Rose Mary, that adventuresome oil tanker still impounded by the British at Aden, which tried to carry Persian oil for some Italian promoters.

It seems only reasonable to surmise that the British are going to be rather incensed if they find a few of the boys from Denver and New York making deals with Mossadegh while the men in Washington are telling one and all about American solidarity with Britain on Persian matters.

If private American tankers try to open the oil lanes to Persia (without British consent), they may end up beside the Rose Mary in Aden and how will that help Western relations? Mossadegh will be crying harder than ever and Uncle Joe will be down to lend him a shoulder in short order. [Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin]

The reports of all these deals emphasizes once again the essential weakness of the Western position in Persia; the lack of coordination between Washington and London. The US government has yet to learn that accepting world leadership means accepting responsibility in power vacuums around the world. The Truman-Churchill approach to this Persian problem recently showed an appreciation of the situation was dawning upon the mind of official Washington. But where does Washington stand with the boys from Denver? Does it, in other words, think the Persian situation can be solved with a few private deals?

70th Anniversary of TIME’s 1951 Man of the Year
Challenge of the East: TIME's 1951 Man of the Year Mohammad Mossadegh


Related links:

Iran Roars Hero’s Welcome As Mossadegh Comes Home | AP, Nov. 23, 1951

Dry Those Big Tears, Mr. Mossadegh | Calgary Herald, June 18, 1951

Loy Henderson Assures the Shah of British Sincerity (April 13, 1954)

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

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