Box Office Poison

December 24, 1953 — The Cincinnati Enquirer

The Mossadegh Project | January 13, 2023                    

Highlights of the Mossadeq Trial | CIA Memo (Nov. 1953)

Editorial in The Cincinnati Enquirer (Ohio) newspaper.

What, No Audience!

Mohammed Mossadegh—a ham if the theater ever missed one—seems to have met with the crudest fate of all. A military court has found the former premier of Iran guilty of treason and sentenced him to three years in solitary confinement (thanks to the intercession of his arch enemy, the shah).

Mossadegh thus is denied what seemed to be his fondest hope, to die a martyr. At least he gave everyone that impression, although we suspected he would have wailed even louder for mercy if the actuality of execution had ever confronted him.

Of course a three-year sentence may kill the obstreperous old poseur—not because of his age, or the rigors of prison fare, but simply because it is in solitary confinement. No one to witness his theatrics; possibly even no one to hear him shriek and cry! The heart of a ham is tender, in some respects, and break it might.

Not that we feel much sympathy for Mossadegh. For the sake of his own delusions of grandeur, he succeeded only in doing a magnificent job of wrecking his nation’s economy and endangering its security, to say nothing of how many bad moments he gave the peace of the Middle East and of the world.

70th Anniversary of TIME’s 1951 Man of the Year


Related links:

The Mighty, Fallen | The Cincinnati Enquirer, November 8, 1953

Lunatic or Buffoon | The Salt Lake Tribune, December 4, 1953

Mossadegh’s Sentence for Treason | Los Angeles Times, Dec. 23, 1953

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

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