August 6, 1954 — The Philadelphia Inquirer

The Mossadegh Project | February 3, 2016                     

One day after its finalization, The Philadelphia Inquirer was clearly elated over the oil consortium agreement in Iran.

Their editorial stated that Iran paid only $85 million U.S. (£24 million in British pounds) to AIOC as compensation, but neglected to add that Iran also relinquished her counter-claim of more than £300 million (about a billion dollars at the rate of £1 = $3.40 U.S.). This amount was for the losses Iran had suffered during the British-imposed embargo, unpaid loyalties and taxes by the AIOC, as well as Iran’s share of the company’s reserves and dividends.

Iran Oil Consortium | Archive of Documents (1953-1954)

The Philadelphia Inquirer — Friday morning, August 6, 1954

Iranian Oil Deal a New
Victory for Free World

One need take only a quick backward glance at the Middle East of a year ago to realize how big a victory the new oil agreement with Iran is for the free world.

A year ago the Russians seemed to hold the key cards in the Middle East. Mossadegh, with his preposterous “bedside manner,” seemed set to move Iran behind the Iron Curtain, oil and all. Unrest was boiling in Egypt. Red trouble-makers were having a field day trying to incite the whole Moslem world against the West. In Tunisia and Morocco other Reds were fanning the flames of revolt. The outlook was dark.

Then, just about a year ago, came the overthrow of Mossadegh. And, despite some glowerings from Moscow, the Shah and his new regime have stood firmly with the West while at the same time insisting on a better deal on the oil question than the British had seemed willing to give Mossadegh.

What makes this Iranian oil agreement doubly important is that it comes in the wake of the British pact with Egypt, providing for removal of British troops from the Suez Canal Zone, and the French offer of home rule to Tunisia.

As in Egypt, this oil agreement represents major concessions on the part of the British. The Anglo-Iranian Oil Company had demanded $500,000,000 compensation for nationalization of the Iranian oil properties and the great Abadan refinery. Now Iran not only keeps those properties as her own but compensation to Anglo-Iranian Oil will be only about $85,000,000. [£24 million]

Under the new 25-year pact, which is yet to be formally written out and ratified, a process likely to require two months, five U.S. companies, Anglo-Iranian, one Dutch firm and one French will jointly operate the Iranian oil industry.

With world oil production elsewhere stepped up to meet the gap left when the Abadan refinery closed down, it remains to be seen whether those oil firms find some tough marketing problems. But the important fact is that one more political sore spot has been removed.

It is a gain for every free country, as Secretary of State Dulles says. [John Foster Dulles] Red infiltration of the Middle East has been checked. And Iran’s oil will flow on this side of the Iron Curtain.

Once again Britain has exchanged a chunk of empire to gain a friend. Once again the West has beaten an apparent retreat only to make an actual advance. Once again the free world has scored in the cold war by stealing Communism’s thunder.


Related links:

Iran Oil Dispute Ends | The San Bernardino County Sun, August 6, 1954

Proud Britisher Hails Iran Oil Deal As English Victory (Aug. 16, 1954)

Oil Peace in Iran | The Philadelphia Inquirer, November 8, 1954

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

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