Botch Job

September 21, 1951 — The Muncie Star

The Mossadegh Project | February 7, 2023                  

Lead editorial on Iran in The Muncie Star newspaper of Muncie, Indiana.

The Muncie Star (Muncie, Indiana)

Iran to the Communists?

Just what America and Britain did not want to see happen, is happening in Iran. Iranian officials are bargaining with Russian officials over Iranian oil. [False] There is now a chance that the Communists will begin to gain control over the economy of Iran and eventually gain control of the whole nation and its oil.

W. Averell Harriman, one of the “men of Yalta,” has botched up his role as mediator by throwing American influence behind the British position. He has refused to forward Premier Mossadegh’s note to Britain and given up his role as mediator. Iran is in turmoil and a cabinet shakeup is in progress.

It may be true that Iran cannot sell all her oil to Russia and her captive states. It may well be that Iran’s economy will be severely hurt if Iran does not make a deal with the British. It may also be true that Iran risks losing its independence as a nation by dealing with the Kremlin. But the anti-British feeling, national pride and ancient prejudice now seem to be more powerful in Iran than common sense.

Mr. Harriman has failed to reckon with these emotional forces. He has tied American diplomacy in Iran to the British coattails. As a result American self interest is endangered.

The sole concern of the United States in Iran should be to prevent the Communists from getting control of Iran’s oil and Iran’s territory. If we must take a position that conflicts with Britain to achieve this, let’s take it. Why not outbid Russia for Iran’s oil? Why not allow American oil companies to buy the oil, to run the refineries and to sell the oil for the nationalized Iranian oil company? If we control the oil we can still sell it to Britain and keep it from the Soviets. If Americans run the oil company under Iranian authority Iran can be saved for the West.

But this is probably too “realistic” for Mr. Harriman and Mr. Acheson and like eastern Europe and China, Iran will probably go to the Communists by American default. [Sec. of State Dean Acheson]

Divvying Up the Loot: The Iran Oil Consortium Agreement of 1954
Divvying Up the Loot: The Iran Oil Consortium Agreement of 1954


Related links:

At Last, Common Sense | The Muncie Star, November 25, 1951

Meeting With Dr. Mossadegh at New York Hospital (Oct. 11, 1951)

Deadly ‘Chess’ Game | The Palm Beach Post, Oct. 23, 1952

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

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