Making Iran Safe For Democracy (Pt. 2)
September 1, 1953 — Reading Eagle

The Mossadegh Project | July 26, 2016                        

High Stakes in Iran | Reading Eagle, September 1, 1953

After Mossadegh was overthrown and an unelected strong man regime put in his place, The Reading Eagle newspaper in Berks County, Pennsylvania depicted it as a victory for “democracy”. This subsequent editorial continues along this theme.

High Stakes in Iran

To those among us who recognized the policies of ex-Premier Mossadegh as a movement which could have brought about anti-democratic uprisings throughout the entire Moslem world, the return of the Shah to power was a welcome event. However, our gratification has been diluted by the announcement that the United States will now have to step up its aid to that country by many millions of dollars.

As an object lesson, Iran will serve the purpose of helping all of us to understand the dilemma which confronts our country. The treasury of Iran is empty. If its economy is to be able to function on any basis of democracy it will need help. Otherwise Iranian people will have to be mobilized and regulated by absolute decree. And in that case, regardless of who heads that nation now, Iran would fall into the Soviet orbit.

It will now be necessary for American dollars to put it Iran back into business as a free nation. Only in that way can there be any hope of assuring order under some some semblance of democratic freedom in Iran and preserving a desirable politico-economic status quo and other important Near East nations.

We are selecting our words with care when we speak of a “hope.” Neither in Iran, nor any other oil-rich and strategically-situated nations is there the certainty that new outbreaks can be averted by the material assistance that our country is able and willing to give. Indeed, the manifest foot-dragging of Western nations whose cultures and backgrounds are more nearly like our own, but whose full co-operation the United States has not been able to purchase with many billions of dollars, justifies grave doubt about the future of Iran.

It is only when we consider the possible alternatives to taking the chance of foreign aid that our spending policies around the world can be viewed as the lesser evil. Economic assistance, costly as it has been, is cheaper than war and more costly and more promising than a policy of isolationism which would enable the Kremlin tacticians to consolidate vast areas of economic importance under Russian influence and domination.

No doubt our government will stake Iran to a new chance for freedom. Latest estimates place the investment at 30 million dollars above the $23,500,000 that originally was earmarked for Point Four aid to that bankrupt country. We Americans are gambling with high-stakes. Our ante will be justified only if the game we are playing brings us the prize of world peace.


Related links:

The Shah Needs Money | The Leader-Republican, August 25, 1953

Aid For the Shah | U.S. editorial, August 28, 1953

Very Amusing | The Troy Record, September 14, 1953

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

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