Pressure Points

March 4, 1953 — The Evening Telegram

The Mossadegh Project | July 25, 2022                       

Lead editorial in The Evening Telegram newspaper of Herkimer County / Ilion, New York. The second sentence was very similar to the opening line in their Jan. 1952 editorial Troubled Region.

Iran Again

The situation in Iran has temporarily quieted somewhat, but it remains grave. This particular country seems very remote to Americans, but so did Korea not so many years ago. It has been brought home to us rather forcibly of late that we cannot afford to pass over as of no interest events which occur half the world away from us, for we never know when they may pull us into some thing we did not anticipate.

Iran is one of those fringe countries around the Soviet Union which are particularly susceptible to Russian pressure. Its rich oil reserves make it an object of interest to Moscow, which has played cleverly on Iranian resentment over previous Western influence, and has made the most of the crisis which arose over the oil nationalization question.

Premier Mossadegh, the tearful and wily premier, seems to have come out again on top in a clash between his faction and supporters of the Shah. The young Shah, who is a well-meaning and well-educated ruler, unfortunately lacks the strong arm of his father, who dominated the government. [Reza Shah Pahlavi] He has been endeavoring to act as a constitutional monarch, a rather difficult procedure in a country of the type of Iran, swept by fanaticism, poverty and ignorance. [He preferred to rule, not reign!]

The real risk is that the disorders between these two groups, neither of which is Communist, will be utilized by the Russian-manipulated Red elements to throw the whole country into chaos. Under such circumstances, native Iranian Reds might take over or, if they failed to bring off the trick, the Russians might march to “preserve order.” Either development would be serious for Western interests in a pivotal point of the Mediterranean area.

Truman and Mossadegh’s First Messages on Iran Oil Dispute (1951)
President Truman and Premier Mossadegh's First Messages on Iran Oil Dispute (1951)


Related links:

Teamwork Again? | The Knickerbocker News, July 29, 1953

Internal Threat To Iranian Security | Allen Dulles to Pres. Eisenhower (Feb. 1953)

It Remains to Be Seen Whether the Reds Will Get Far in Iran | July 27, 1952

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

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