5 Points, Not One Makes Sense

August 20, 1953 — The Lethbridge Herald

Arash Norouzi

The Mossadegh Project | August 20, 2015                    

“And what will happen to Iran’s oil, the great prize in the lottery?”

This editorial out of Alberta, Canada reacting to Mossadegh’s overthrow the day before, is definitely one of the stranger ones we’ve come across.

It features a five-point bullet list of factors that they claimed were inhibiting the U.S. and Britain’s ability to settle the oil dispute peacefully. See if you can make any sense of it...

The Iran Coup

What does the royalist-army coup in Iran portend?

Is it the end of Premier Mossadegh? Will the Iran Communists start a counter-revolution? And what will happen to Iran’s oil, the great prize in the lottery?

The escape of the Shah of Iran after an abortive coup to oust Mossadegh seemed to tip the scales greatly in the Premier’s favor, and the Western nations were very much afraid that Mossadegh and the Kremlin might reach a working agreement which would put Russia in possession of one of the requirements of the Communists before any full scale war might be undertaken.

Now if the Royalists can hold the fort against the Tudeh Communists in Iran, it might be that Britain and the U.S. may be able to effect a settlement of the Iran oil dispute which will bring peace and stability to the hot spot of the Near East.

Experts who have been close to the Iran situation state that the two Western allies have been handicapped by these factors:

1. They didn’t want the Iranian oil for themselves any more. They only want to keep it away from Russia. [Britain didn’t want their precious oil refinery back? Now THAT’S funny]

2. They had to abandon their efforts to support the Mossadegh government, in of his being their only hope for a long time against Russia, because they could no longer countenance his principle of expropriation lest he set fires in other Middle East oil lands. [Eisenhower and Churchill “supported” Mossadegh??]

3. Even if they had wanted to continue supporting Mossadegh, the time was arriving when economic support would have had to be augmented by military support. Mossadegh was in no position to handle mere munitions aid and arrival of Allied Forces, even military missions, would merely have aggravated the extreme Iranian nationalists as well as being an invitation to Russia to occupy the northern part of the country. [That’s a new one]

4. There was no political power outside of Mossadegh to which the Allies could appeal without redoubling the bitter anti-foreign feeling already prevalent throughout the country and actually dooming whoever accepted foreign co-operation. [Then why support the Shah??]

5. Mossadegh had begun to play with the Communists, and had accepted Russia’s invitation to sign new commercial agreements. If he was willing to let his desire for power and his anti-British feeling carry him into the arms of the Russians, then he would have carried with him any continued aid the U.S. might give. So it was cut off. [Mossadegh was actually “playing” with the Capitalists, but they kicked him out of the sandbox]

It is to be hoped for the sake of the people of Iran who need money from oil for a better standard of living, and for the sake of continuation of a stalemate in the cold war, that the Iran coup on Wednesday will wind up in stability for the oil rich Near East nation that will keep Russia at arm’s length. The Iranian powder keg must not be allowed to blow up. [It already did]

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

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Related links:

What of Iran? | The Lethbridge Herald, September 11, 1953

Iran—The Chance For Charity | The Deseret News and Telegram, August 20, 1953

Iran’s Counter Revolution | The Lewiston Evening Journal, August 21, 1953

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

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