Once the Dust Settles

August 21, 1953 — Detroit Free Press

The Mossadegh Project | August 21, 2021                     

An editorial in The Detroit Free Press newspaper (Detroit, Michigan) printed two days after the overthrow of Mossadegh.

Whither Iran?

MOB VIOLENCE has dramatized the tragedy being enacted in Iran. It is a struggle among powerful factions and nations for control of the immensely-rich oil fields.

At the moment, Premier Mohammed Mossadegh, who had been supported by Communists, has been ousted by Royalists. He has been captured and is being held for trial. Whether mobs will rally to him as they did in 1952 and put him back in power remains to be seen. It also is unknown whether Mossadegh’s successor, Maj. Gen. Fazollah Zahedi, will be any better from the American and British point of view. [Fazlollah Zahedi]

Like Mossadegh, Zahedi is an extreme nationalist. He was arrested by the British in World War II as a pro-Nazi. Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlevi, who appointed Zahedi premier and then was forced to flee to Rome when Zahedi’s first try at a coup failed, may be the key, depending on how much control he exercises over Zahedi. [Mohammad Reza Pahlavi]

The Shah has hinted he will seek agreements with the West over operation of the oil wells, rather than with Russia. But, he has been weak in the past, allowing Mossadegh to return to power in 1952 to begin the nationalization of oil resources.

While the West is glad to see Mossadegh out of office, the dust will have to settle more before it can be determined if the new government will turn away from communism and seek the help and advice of the democracies. The decision, whichever way it goes, will have an important effect on all of our lives sometime in the future.

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Related links:

Iran At Crossroads | Detroit Free Press, August 27, 1953

The Persian Enigma | The Advertiser, August 17, 1953

Mossadegh Upset | Albuquerque Journal (New Mexico), August 21, 1953

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

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