Married To the Mob

August 24, 1953 — The Elmira Star-Gazette

Arash Norouzi

The Mossadegh Project | January 18, 2015                   

The Elmira Star-Gazette assessed the situation in Iran after the coup in this error-filled lead editorial on their “Expressions of Opinion” page.

Prime Minister Mossadegh never used the army to maintain himself, and the mob were mostly controlled by Kashani, CIA and others. The army and the mob, however, were the main domestic forces against Mossadegh in the 1953 coup.

The Elmira, New York newspaper was a consolidation, as of July 1, 1907, of The Elmira Evening-Star (1888), The Elmira Gazette (1828), The Elmira Free Press (1878), and The Elmira Evening News (1894).

Mossadegh Betrayed By Own Chicanery

THE MOB and the army, two forces that Mohammed Mossadegh manipulated to gain his political ends, finally turned against him.

And thereby is demonstrated again how unreliable is government by emotion rather than reason, and how dangerous a tool is the military when used for political purposes.

Most rulers who gain power through mob action act first against the very agency that gave them their authority. They try to put an end to mob rule. But Mossadegh was never able to free himself from the mob; he had to use it repeatedly against his political foes when reason, of which he had but a meager supply, failed.

It is not yet certain, of course, that Mossadegh has suffered a total defeat. Last week end it appeared that he had won and was more firmly in the saddle than ever. Then came a reversal of fortunes—through that switch in allegiance of the mob and the military—which finally resulted in his arrest. Whether that means his followers are in complete rout is yet to be seen.

But the West has to try to prepare for a new regime in Iran, the complexion of which will determine future relations. If the shah emerges as a genuine leader of the country there should be little difficulty in reestablishing good feeling between Persia and the West.

But if the young shah proves to be merely a tool in the hands of Maj. Gen. Fazollah Zahedi [sic—Fazlollah] and Ayatollah Kashani [Seyed Abolghasem Kashani], the fanatical Persian religious leader—the two men actually responsible for Mossadegh’s overthrow—the situation will be little if any improved.

Both are violently anti-British and perhaps anti-American as well. Zahedi, in fact, was jailed by the British during World War 2 for pro-Nazi activity. Neither, it is believed, would hesitate to flirt with Russia in driving a hard bargain with the West for Persian oil.

One can hope, however, that the now-demonstrated magic of the monarchy in Iran will subdue disruptive forces and continue to work its alchemy in that unhappy country for the peace and prosperity of its people. Such will be the result if Shah Mohammed Riza Pahlevi has his way. [sic—Mohammad Reza Pahlavi]


Related links:

Aid For Iran | The Albuquerque Journal, August 30, 1953

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

Flight of the Shah | The New York Herald Tribune, August 18, 1953

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

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