Iran’s Cry For Dollars

August 27, 1953 — International News Service (INS)

The Mossadegh Project | June 30, 2017                    

The 1953 coup in Iran

In View of the News
Iran Wants U.S. Money As Price of Friendship

International News Service Foreign Director

The Iranian political football has been kicked back inevitably into the arms of the United States. Iran wants more U.S. money.

This is the meaning of the overthrow of Premier Mohammed Mossadegh and the quick interview between new Premier-Gen. Fazollah Zahedi and U.S. Ambassador Loy Henderson.

The first reaction from Washington officials was one of pleasure when the Shah and Premier Zahedi kicked out Mossadegh. This was because the 72-year-old Mossadegh [71] had been flirting so dangerously with the Communists that the latter had become an increasing menace in the strategic, oil-rich buffer state adjoining Russia. [balderdash]

This Washington reaction was followed almost immediately by frowns, reflecting the inevitable question: Who is going to help bankrupt Iran to keep it out of more civil war and more tendency to lean on Russia?

Would Accept Red Aid

The young Shah, Mohammed Reza Pahlevi, [Mohammad Reza Pahlavi] made it clear last Sunday that he would accept Russian help if necessary. Officials in the U.S. did not regard this as an idle statement, but it is a familiar one in which underdeveloped or hard-up countries play West against East in the quest for American dollars.

Britain, of course, would not object to the principle of the United States pouring more money into Iran—so long as it was made plain that such hand-outs did not affect the principle of Britain’s standing demand for compensation for her expropriated oil industry in Iran.

American officials privately have indicated that Iran will have to adopt a more reasonable attitude on settling its oil dispute with Britain if it expects more American money aid.

Gift, Not A Loan

And more money aid means a gift, not a loan. The Shah and his Premier quite frankly have said they do not want “a loan” nor to be put in the role of “beggars.” In other words, they think Iranian solvency—keeping it out of Russia’s sphere of influence— is worth a definite price to the West in the cold war.

While they have branded the fallen Mossadegh a traitor, there is absolutely no indication that the Shah and Zahedi can make any popular overture toward Britain. Mossadegh’s Nationalists built up a popular hatred of Britain by blaming all their woes on that nation. And the Shah and Zahedi cannot alter that feeling at any early date.

One possible solution of the Iranian puzzle is to renew the American offer made to Iran last February. Under a plan submitted then and refused by Mossadegh, the United States would have bought stored Iranian oil and immediately given the Tehran government a huge chunk of cash to keep the government functioning.

The offer was conditioned on Iran accepting neutral arbitration of the British-owned Anglo-Iranian Oil Company’s claim for compensation. Arrangements were to have been discussed to get the oil fields working again, and the major oil companies would have joined to provide distribution and markets.

Iran’s nationalization of the oil fields would have been accepted and Iran would have been left free from so-called “monopoly” and unrestricted in her choice of markets.

Alternate headlines:

Iran Revolt Caused By Its Need For More Cash
Iranian Political Football Back In Arms Of United States, Iran Wants More Money

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:

Mossadegh Gives Cold Shoulder to Russians | INS, January 31, 1953

Flight of Shah In Iran Strengthens Red’s Hand | INS, August 18, 1953

Back Home And Broke | The Zanesville Times Recorder, September 18, 1953

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

Facebook  Twitter  YouTube  Tumblr   Instagram