Token Nationalization
June 23, 1951 — The Manchester Evening Herald

The Mossadegh Project | April 20, 2021                        

Editorial on Iran in The Manchester Evening Herald newspaper (Manchester, Connecticut).

Impasse In Iran

The impasse in negotiations over Iranian oil seems to result from a natural British hope that Iran can be persuaded to satisfy itself with a mere token nationalization which would leave nothing changed except the proportion of income to Iran itself from the production and sale of Iranian oil.

Where Iran considers that it has already taken over an industry which was a private industry and now owns it, Britain is still trying to regard the situation as one between two equal principalities. Britain, thus, is trying to negotiate about something Iran regards as an accomplished fact and is acting as if it had something to say about the terms of nationalization.

Iran on the other hand seems to expect that Britain should regard nationalization as something of a privilege and blessing, and that Britain should cheerfully leave the question of compensation for property rights and investment up to the future fairness and generosity of Iran, meanwhile continuing to operate the oil industry for Iran on rules and conditions laid down unilaterally by Iran itself.

Between the impossible British hope that Iran can be talked into keeping nationalization just a paper transaction, and the impossible Iranian hope that Iran will pleasantly shift from the role of master to that of slave, the chance of a real situation, which would have to be more in the nature of a partnership, seems temporarily lost. That American intermediary diplomacy has not been able to bridge this gulf is no cause for chagrin. We doubt that anything except time and experience can produce real results in such a situation.

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:

UN Should Be Able to End Oil Dispute | Spokesman-Review, Oct. 3, 1951

Leaders Needed | The Schenectady Gazette, June 19, 1951

Iran According To Ed Sullivan (1951-1954)

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

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