Out On Third

October 13, 1951 — The Day

The Mossadegh Project | August 1, 2021                           

An editorial in The Day newspaper of New London, Connecticut (estab. 1881), published while Dr. Mossadegh was in the neighboring state of New York.

Oil Troubles

WHETHER this country likes it or not, it now seems to be almost squarely in the middle in the complex tangle concerning Iranian oil. The British have been thrown out and the oil fields and refineries now rest in admittedly incompetent Iranian hands. The British suffered a smarting defeat, and the situation is wide open to potential Communist agitation and intervention.

Being thus in an obviously unstable predicament, a change must come about. The hot-headed Iranian premier, Mohammed Mossadegh, has flatly refused to dicker directly with the British, and even if pressure could he brought which would force such bargaining, it would almost certainly be futile. So deeply do the prejudices on both sides run that further negotiation without a third party as an arbiter is virtually inconceivable.

Mossadegh’s spokesman [Hossein Fatemi], now in New York with the ailing premier to put their case up to the U.N., has voiced Mossadegh’s current sentiments on the matter. Iran is amenable to new discussions with the British, provided they are arranged by a “third party”—obviously meaning the United States.

W. Averill Harriman, who spent several frustrating weeks trying to iron out the situation as the president’s special emissary, devoted energy and good will to the problem that would have been beyond many men. [sic—Averell] So unyielding and bitter are both parties immediately concerned that the likelihood of compromise seems most remote. Yet it must come about, for the present situation cannot continue without the gravest danger and potential awful consequences.

So, like it or not, the United States is evidently going to have at least one more try to get the battling parties together to iron out their differences. Mossadegh’s presence in this country, to put his case up before the U.N., is being subjected to all sorts of speculation. Some are trying to offer possible plans for peace, but Mossadegh thus far has done nothing positive except to indicate that he wants the “third party” back in the arena. Besides its economic support, with which America is lugging a large part of the world along the rocky road to freedom, she is, in Iran’s case, now expected to extend all the help possible as an arbiter and advisor in a highly delicate squabble. But the situation is so tense, and its possibilities so ominous, that she cannot say no.

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Related links:

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

Free Nations Need ‘Court’ To Settle Own Quarrel | Edgar Ansel Mowrer, Oct. 4, 1951

Breathing Spell | The New London Day, October 3, 1951

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

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