Dark Skies

August 18, 1953 — The New York Herald Tribune

The Mossadegh Project | January 9, 2015                           

The 1953 coup in Iran

The late, legendary New York Herald Tribune (1926-1966) responded to the apparent victory of Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh after the first failed attempt to coup him in this forlorn editorial.

Their commentary closes with a reference to an alleged statement by Russian Premier Georgy Malenkov, implied to be pro-Mossadegh, which we have not substantiated.

The New York Herald Tribune — August 18, 1953

Flight of the Shah

With the flight of Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlevi to Baghdad, Premier Mossadegh has apparently pushed aside the last obstacle that stands between himself and supreme power in Iran. He had already won popular approval of a sort (his opponents boycotted the polls) for the dissolution of the Majlis, the lower house of the Iranian Parliament, when an attempt by the Shah’s guards to arrest the aged Premier enabled Mossadegh to proceed against the monarchists. Now it appears quite likely that Mossadegh will use the episode as an excuse to call for new elections to the Majlis, without the assent of the Shah, which is constitutionally necessary. With most of his opponents in jail and with control of at least part of the army, Mossadegh may well receive a mandate from the voters to take whatever powers he desires.

There are two potential dangers still facing Mossadegh, aside from the economic problems which are chronic in Iran and have been multiplied by the unsettled question of the country’s oil. One is the announcement by Gen. Fazollah Zahedi [sic—Fazlollah Zahedi] that he is the legitimate Premier by nomination of the Shah. General Zahedi may create an active opposition to Mossadegh from disgruntled members of the Majlis, army officers, monarchists and followers of the Moslem leader, Ayatullah Kashani. [Ayatollah Seyed Abolghassem Kashani] Under present circumstances, such an opposition could lead to civil war. The other hazard in Mossadegh’s position is the support he has been given by the Communist Tudeh party. The Reds do not give their assistance without hope of reward, and Premier Malenkov’s recent kind words about Iran indicate that the Kremlin expects much of the Mossadegh regime. Whatever Mossadegh’s own fate, therefore, the skies are darkening over his country.

LOST IN IRAQ: The Shah’s Baghdad Sojourn
LOST IN IRAQ: The Shah's Baghdad Sojourn | Aug. 16, 1953

Search MohammadMossadegh.com

Related links:

Mossadegh Upset | Albuquerque Journal, August 21, 1953

Whither Iran? | Detroit Free Press, August 21, 1953

Mossadegh Out | Daily Press (St. Marys, PA), August 20, 1953

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

Facebook  Twitter  YouTube  Tumblr   Instagram