Russian Intrigues

May 25, 1952 — The Los Angeles Times

The Mossadegh Project | June 3, 2023                   

An editorial on Iran in The Los Angeles Times newspaper (California).

The Los Angeles Times

Heat on Iran

Moscow’s note, turning the diplomatic heat on Iran for accepting U.S. military aid, is not unexpected and is as groundless as most of the Kremlin’s fulminations.

The little 150,000-man Iranian army, no matter how much it might be bolstered by American equipment and advice, certainly poses no threat to the Soviet Union; nor could it do much more than harass a determined Russian invasion.

What it amounts to is a national police force in a country still controlled in many areas by balky and semi-independent tribal leaders, some of whom the Communists are actively wooing. In the cities it also serves to restrain the well-disciplined mobs of the underground Tudeh (Communist) Party.

Since 1947, at Iran’s request, the United States has had a small military advisory mission in the country and has furnished the Iranian army about $66,000,000 worth of arms and equipment, mostly World War II surplus. The agreement specifically prohibits the Americans from advising Iran on “tactical or strategic plans or operations against a foreign enemy.”

Nevertheless, the U.S.S.R. now claims that American aid, recently renewed, violates the 1921 Soviet-Iranian Treaty, which provides Russia with a legal excuse for moving in on Iran if its territory is used as a base of operations for hostile action against the Soviets. This pact, incidentally, was made to stop border raids by White Russian irregulars who fled to Iran after the Bolshevik revolution.

Most Iranians are as wary of Russian intrigues as of British, and while the oil nationalization crisis has focused attention on British interests in the south, the long northern frontier with Russia is never absent for a moment in the minds of Iranian politicians. Premier Mohammed Mossadegh, a tougher character than his tears indicate, said “no” to the 1947 Soviet bid for oil concessions in the north, and it may be hoped his stubborn streak still runs both ways.

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Related links:

Soviets Object to U.S. Military Aid To Iran (May 13, 1952 Letter)

Mossadegh Finds the Ice Thin | Los Angeles Times, Jan. 4, 1952

U.S. Is Reported Ready to Resume Military Aid to Iran | AP, April 25, 1952

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

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