Those People
August 20, 1953 — The Bee

The Mossadegh Project | June 23, 2017                       

The 1953 coup in Iran

One day after the 1953 coup in Iran, this lead editorial was published in Danville, Virginia newspaper The Bee.

Dismissal Of A Tiresome Old Man

It may be too soon to evaluate fully the passions which have been running freely in Persia during the past 48 hours. Vacillation in the Near East is part of the characteristic of those people. While Dr. Mossadegh appears to have been at long last the victim of his own machinations, most people will be glad that he is no longer a tower of strength in his own country.

Every indication had been that the prime minister had been edging himself more and more into the position of a dictator. He had virtually set at nought the actions of the parliament and, trusting in his violent anti-British platform, was rapidly becoming a dominant figure. Recently he had shown a dangerous tendency, when his own native support flickered, to look to the Communists to give him comfort. [How so?] It was a gradual process through which the Russians, eagerly co-operating, hoped to lay their hands on the oil wells which would power the Soviet Army, Airforce and Navy for years to come.

But there were other reasons. Diplomats lost patience in dealing with him. In all of the oil refinery negotiations, the British made one concession after another and when things seemed in order for new trade agreements and treaties, Dr. Mossadegh would conveniently change his mind and issue flaming manifestoes against foreign influence.

Mossadegh, in short, has done all his political trading on the traditional fear of foreign influence which the Persians have shown during their long period of subjection by early rulers. As Shah Pahlevi is reportedly flying back to his capital from Rome today after a hasty retreat from animosities which only last Monday seemed as bitter and unanimous as those now voiced in his favor today. [Mohammad Reza Pahlavi]

It would be hard to believe that all is over but the shouting in Persia. The new prime minister [Fazlollah Zahedi] shows this clearly, in that he has enunciated new principles of government which seem to hew to the line of popular approval. They are principles which the people have demanded but which Dr. Mossadegh was never able to translate into material fact. [Very presumptuous comments]

The Shah’s regime future undoubtedly will depend on how stoutly he defends a greater independence for Iran and how far he is willing to go to resist foreign influence. We can however, believe that the now stagnant oil refineries will once more resume meeting the rising world demand for fuels.

Divvying Up the Loot: The Iran Oil Consortium Agreement of 1954
Divvying Up the Loot: The Iran Oil Consortium Agreement of 


Related links:

Whither Iran? | Detroit Free Press, August 21, 1953

Coup D’ Etat In Iran | The Daily Courier, August 21, 1953

Mossadegh Betrayed By Own Chicanery | The Elmira Star-Gazette, August 24, 1953

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

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