Liquor is Quicker

August 16, 1953 — The Philadelphia Inquirer

The Mossadegh Project | October 16, 2014                    

Here’s The Philadelphia Inquirer on a new prohibition law in Iran — Sunday morning, August 16, 1953. It’s remarkably similar overall to this editorial published three days earlier in a small newspaper from upstate New York.

Omar Can Relax

Thanks to the intercession of Iran’s weeping Premier Mossadegh, the soul of Omar Khayyam can continue to rest easily. There will be no noble experiment in Iran, at least for a year.

If he had never written another line, Omar would be remembered for the couplet beginning, “A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread—and Thou . . . ” But the Persian poet wrote thousands of lines, many singing the praises of the product of the vintner’s art. And a large number of present-day Iranians, who may never have heard of Omar Khayyam, paid their respects to him nevertheless by drinking wine.

That happy situation was in danger. As much to annoy Mossadegh as anything else, his opponents pushed through a prohibition measure, scheduled to go into effect this week. Mossadegh didn’t care, personally, since he is a teetotaler. But there were political factors, such as $5,000,000 in liquor taxes, possible unemployment in the distilleries, and fear of offending Russia by banning vodka. So Mossadegh postponed, perhaps permanently, the evil day.

As poetry lovers, we’re glad Omar Khayyam’s lines won’t have to be revised to read “A Jug of Water” and so on. We just hope Mossadegh doesn’t let Russian influence grow so strong that they’ll start off “A Jug of Vodka . . . ”

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


Related links:

Prohibition in Iran | Oswego Palladium-Times, August 13, 1953

Scotch and Oil | The Advertiser, November 1, 1951

Mossadegh Alone At Last | The Times Record, August 17, 1953

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

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