The Army’s Wrath

September 9, 1953 — The Clovis News Journal

The Mossadegh Project | May 28, 2015                         

“The Iranian upset is as melo-dramatic an affair as any fiction writer could concoct.”

There were many jubilant assessments by the American press in the aftermath of the 1953 coup in Iran. For example: this lead editorial in “New Mexico’s Most Consistent Newspaper”, The Clovis News Journal, on Wednesday, Sept. 9, 1953.

In the Spotlight...

The excitement over in Iran appears to represent good news for the British and it may well be bad news for the Kremlin.

Word that Premier Mohammed Mossadegh has been ousted and has fled in fear of his life sent the stock of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company soaring on the London exchange. Those securities had been of somewhat doubtful value.

When the Iranian army stormed the house in which the wily little premier had been cowering and he slipped away through adjoining buildings in true Middle Eastern fashion, [naked racism] Russia’s Andrei Vishinsky was making the year’s biggest propaganda play in the United Nations meeting in New York.

The Soviet delegate was attempting to drive new wedges between the western allies. But how are you to stir up dissension when nobody is listening?

*     *     *

THE IRAN uproar has taken the attention of the world away from the Korea mess. It is to be hoped that it will last enough for the West to get together and present a more solid front against Communist maneuverings.

Whether there is enough brains in our State Department to take advantage of the situation remains to be seen, but unfortunately is doubtful.

The British, however, may be too busy consolidating gains in the Middle East to press for their dream of a four power confab.

The Iranian upset is as melo-dramatic an affair as any fiction writer could concoct.

It is only a few days after the Shah Mohammed Riza [Mohammad Reza Pahlavi] and his queen fled the country with the premier’s cohorts and the Communists yelling for the young shah’s blood.

But Mossadegh forgot that he held the country by fear, that a large part of the population had long been feeling the pinch of hunger and knew that their troubles stemmed from the shutdown of the oil industry, and that the Iranian Army sided with the Shah.

*     *     *

ARMIES almost always are conservative. They back the side that has money for payrolls and supplies. Without the income from oil, Mossadegh had nothing with which to meet either bill. And he was so far committed to the expulsion of the British and the nationalization of the oil industry, that he could not turn back without facing the wrath of his own followers.

He has long been a man afraid for his life. There have been repeated instances of his fainting and taking to his bed when danger threatened. [Repeated instances?]

Now he has real reason to be afraid. He will be lucky indeed if he succeeds in fleeing the country, to replace the shah in exile.

With the pro-West Shah back on his throne and the Army in control of the country, it seems quite likely that an agreement can be reached with the British government, which owns most of the stock in Anglo-Iranian.

That, however, will be a really tricky deal which will require a lot of time and attention of Sir Winston Churchill and the British Foreign Office.

Meanwhile Vishinsky can rant and rave in the UN committee to his heart’s content. The eyes and ears of the world will be on the ancient land that once was Persia.


Related links:

The Commonweal magazine applauds overthrow of Mossadegh | September 4, 1953

Iran Now Is Suffering | The Albuquerque Journal, March 29, 1952

Back Home and Broke | The Times Recorder, September 18, 1953

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

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