Out On A Limb

December 7, 1951 — The Miami Daily News

The Mossadegh Project | February 7, 2022                    

An editorial on Iran in The Miami Daily News (Florida). Founded in 1896, it was Miami’s oldest newspaper.

Fruits Of Folly In Iran

Communist-led students and others riot in Tehran and suffer the worst mauling in recent history of such demonstrations.

Does this indicate that the government of Premier Mossadegh, such a thorn in the side of the British government, is still unsatisfactory to the Communists? Rather, it appears that the discontent was more widespread, that much of the population of Iran had expected nationalization of Anglo-Iranian oil fields and refineries to result in immediate and abundant prosperity. They were mistaken and they take their feelings out on the government. The Communists, as everywhere, capitalize on the discontent, and in fact, seek to channel it to their own aim.

[The result?] can only be a Communist government of Iran, and a Soviet satellite status in the world. That would also mean the Kremlin capture of the largest single reserve of the fabulous Middle East oil productive and potential.

This, of course, has been the overriding fear of the west all along. When the measures could have been taken to deal more liberally—if not more fairly—with the Iranians, the management of Anglo-Iranian Oil co. failed to grasp the opportunity. Nationalization resulted. Yet the fruits of the folly of nationalization were obvious to all but the Iranians.

Now the Iranians have learned the sad truth themselves that they lack the ability to exploit their own wealth and could have gotten too far out on a limb of economic weakness. From that limb, Premier Mossadegh would have the United States rescue him. The United States must weigh here the possibility that it could defeat its own overall security objectives in the Middle East at the same time not forgetting the possibility that the Russians would like to rescue Mossadegh their own way. It’s a hard choice and a crucial decision.

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Challenge of the East: TIME's 1951 Man of the Year Mohammad Mossadegh

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Related links:

Iran Charges Russian Plot | Associated Press, November 4, 1951

Communist Mobs Battle Iran Troops | United Press, August 18, 1953

‘Why Asia Hates Us’ | Hamilton Butler, September 30, 1951

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

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