The High Price of Good Will

January 25, 1952 — The Salisbury Times

Arash Norouzi

The Mossadegh Project | June 1, 2015                      

TIME magazine cover: Robert A. Taft, June 2, 1952 From the Eastern Shore town of Salisbury, Maryland, here’s an interesting Friday evening editorial on the subject of a proposed $24 million dollar aid package to Iran from the United States.

It begins by recalling the political instincts of “Mr. Republican”, Senator Robert A. Taft (1889-1953), the son of 27th U.S. President William Howard Taft. The Senator embarked on his own Presidential campaign bid that same year — won instead by General Dwight D. Eisenhower, who would famously refuse a U.S. loan to Mossadegh the following year.

Purse-String Control

AS SEN. TAFT was saying recently when someone wondered if he and Eisenhower could get together on a foreign policy, it’s a question of degree.

Taft meant that he and the general could get together if each one would give in a little to the other. The idea comes to mind in connection with the news that Premier Mossadegh of Iran is going to accept $24 million from the United States under Point 4. [U.S. technical assistance program to third world nations]

Here is a typical question of degree. Taft would have been inclined to settle for less than $24 million.

The United States is trying to buy good will in Iran. The matter is urgent because Great Britain has earned so much ill will in the near East that good will for anyone who speaks English commands a premium price. But $24 million is a wad of money in Iran.

The question is how much the good will of any one Iranian government is worth, since it can only be promised, not necessarily delivered. Even assuming that it can be bought, which is a dangerous assumption, it should not be worth more than $2.4 million dollars a year, one tenth of what Mossadegh is letting his government accept as a starter.

By the time he has finished, which will be a long time from now, the original $24 million will have been run up to a quarter of a billion.

70th Anniversary of TIME’s Man of the Year Article


Related links:

Twenty-Four Million To Iran | Letter to The Philadelphia Inquirer, January 24, 1952

Some Favor Keeping Our Money At Home | The Elmira Star-Gazette, September 1, 1953

Iran Suppresses U.S. Centers as Thanks for U.S. Aid | Buffalo Courier-Express, Feb. 5, 1952

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

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