Natural Rights

July 8, 1951 — The Salt Lake Tribune

The Mossadegh Project | January 2, 2016                    

A rational editorial in The Salt Lake Tribune newspaper of Salt Lake City, Utah on the ongoing arbitration of the AIOC oil dispute.

The Salt Lake Tribune (Utah) masthead

Iran Dangers Continue

Iran’s quick rejection of World Court intervention in the oil crisis was quite in keeping with previously announced policy.

The Tehran government regards nationalization of Anglo-Iranian Oil Company as a purely internal affair and had said in advance that it would not accept the court’s jurisdiction. The court called for reinstatement of Anglo-Iranian to full control of its properties with revenues to be frozen pending a final decision. The court also asked Great Britain and Iran to take steps to prevent the dispute from becoming aggravated or extended.

Iran is undoubtedly correct in its stand. Great Britain, although a major stockholder in the oil company, was stretching a point when it asked the court to intervene. Iran, after all, was only exerting its sovereignty when it voted nationalization. However, there are occasions when strictly legal correctness may be damaging. Iran can take over the fields, but it will have difficulty marketing the oil, since the tanker fleet remains in the hands of the company. Britain, on the other hand, will lose a vital supply of oil.

The court’s “temporary injunction” offered an excellent chance for further effort at conciliation. It is regrettable that Iran did not see fit to accept, especially since the “injunction” made no mention of the vexing question of jurisdiction. Iran and the company would thus have had more time to negotiate without the former waiving any of its rights. Instead the oil crisis continues to be explosive.

Truman and Mossadegh’s First Messages on Iran Oil Dispute (1951)
President Truman and Premier Mossadegh's First Messages on Iran Oil Dispute (1951)


Related links:

Harriman Mission Stirs Hope in Iran Oil Crisis | The Brooklyn Eagle, July 12, 1951

Pres. Harry Truman “Most Disappointed” By Suspension of Iran Talks (Aug. 23, 1951)

British Blind To New Era In Mid-East | The Binghamton Press letter, June 24, 1951

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

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