Bloodsucking Freaks

October 6, 1951 — The Gazette

The Mossadegh Project | June 4, 2022                    

A pro-British editorial in The Gazette newspaper (Montreal, Canada).


In setting forth the British case against Iran before the U.N. Security Council, Sir Gladwyn Jebb sharply refuted the attempt of Iranian politicians to pillory the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company as “a gang of unscrupulous bloodsuckers . . . responsible for oppression, corruption and treachery” in exploiting Iran’s oil resources. In so doing, he outlined in detail the benefits which had accrued to the Government and people of Iran from the company’s operations — benefits which constitute a very curious form of “oppression” and “greedy exploitation.”

Sir Gladwyn noted that in addition to the royalties paid by the company, amounting to nearly $350 millions, the Government had derived as a result of the company’s enterprises large additional revenues from customs duties, local taxation, profits on exchange rates and so on, with the result that a considerable ratio of state income depended on the company’s developments.

Rather than holding down its workers or leaving them to fend for themselves, the company has built housing accommodation for 17,000 married workers and 4,000 single employees, and set up, staffed and maintained three hospitals and 35 dispensaries. It has organized and facilitated an extensive program of technical and vocational training, and financed courses at British educational centres for Iranian students. More than 1,250 miles of road and 40 major bridges have been built in the areas of the company’s developments.

In the field of general education, the company established 30 elementary and secondary school which were turned over to the Iranian Ministry of Education. Without taking into account the spread of trained professional men and technicians to other parts of the country, the efforts of the company have meant, Sir Gladwyn emphasized, that “tens of thousands of Iranian workmen at present enjoy housing conditions, educational facilities, and health and other social services, on a scale which the working people of Iran enjoy in no other part of the country.”

If this be exploitation, it is a type of exploitation that might well be emulated as a model standard by similar developments elsewhere. All that Britain is now asking is that, without disrupting Iran’s national ownership of the country’s oil deposits, the British-controlled company be adequately compensated for the investment of millions of dollars in processing and handling facilities, and receive a fair share of the profits accruing from the marketing of oil products.

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Related links:

Will Mossadegh Find A Fellow Weeper? | Montreal Gazette, Nov. 15, 1951

Another ‘Oil Mystery’ | Detroit Free Press, August 27, 1952

UN Amb. Ernest Gross Advises British To Revise Approach on Iran | Oct. 2, 1951

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

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