Think of the Stockholders

August 21, 1953 — The Jamestown Post-Journal

Arash Norouzi
The Mossadegh Project
| April 24, 2015      

August 21, 1953 — The Jamestown Post-Journal The Jamestown Post-Journal of Jamestown, New York, a newspaper which clearly had little regard for either Dr. Mossadegh or journalistic integrity, produced this absurd lead editorial two days after the 1953 coup in Iran.

This was the headline on their front page that day.

Brief Dictatorship

Only a week ago an evil old fanatic, Premier Mohammed Mossadegh of Iran, seemed firmly entrenched as dictator of Iran, following a series of successful political moves. He had thrown into prison many deputies to the Majlis who refused to do his bidding. [utter nonsense] The rump parliament remaining lacked a quorum. With the enthusiastic support of the Tudeh, Iran’s theoretically outlawed Communist party, he won overwhelmingly a plebiscite calling for the dissolution of the Majlis and on Sunday decreed its dissolution.

Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlevi dismissed him and named General Fazollah Zahedi [sic—Fazlollah Zahedi] as his successor. The official who tried to bring news of his dismissal to Mossadegh was killed [Col. Nematollah Nassiri was arrested, not killed] the Shah and his Queen went to Iraq, and it was reported that General Zahedi was in hiding, changing his location continuously to avoid Mossadegh’s hatchetmen. But that hiding place was with loyal Iranian troops, for the old Premier’s long continued efforts to deprive the Shah of the command over the army had failed.

A short but bloody battle in Tehran gained control of one strategic point after another, Mossadegh’s house, converted into a stronghold, was taken and destroyed, and he fled. Premier Zahedi assumed the post to which he had been named and the new regime asked the Shah to return. Zahedi issued a program of ten points, the first of which is “the rule of law.” Mossadegh was once before briefly deposed but came back to power. In view of the demonstration of the army’s loyalty to Shah Pahlevi it can now be confidently assumed that the old fanatic has played his part to end.

His overthrow and the restitution of legal government constitute a victory not merely for Iran but for the whole Western World, for continued dictatorship by Mossadegh and his followers would have added Iran to the too many countries that have abolished the comity of nations. They constitute also a defeat for Soviet Russia, to which the growing power and influence of the Tudeh offered welcome prospects for fishing in troubled waters.

The nationalizing of the great Anglo-Iranian Oil Company by Mossadegh and his stubborn refusal to let the International Court at The Hague hear the dispute, [more nonsense] coupled with refusal to negotiate with Great Britain, [they’re just making stuff up as they go along!] deprived Iran of the greater part of its income. Iran could not replace the skilled technicians who operated the great refinery at Abadan, the state had few tankers and sales of oil dropped to a tiny fraction, compelling the Iranian treasury to resort even to selling state treasures for running expenses. The new government has not yet had time to announce its policy regarding the AIOC, but it can be hoped that an amicable agreement will eventually be reached with the British and other foreign holders of its stock.


Related links:

Another Dictatorship — The Jamestown Post-Journal, August 19, 1953

Iran Coup Vindicates Tough U.S. Policy — Edgar Ansel Mowrer, August 26, 1953

Mossadegh’s Fall — U.S. editorial, August 25, 1953

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

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