Circus Peanuts

December 4, 1953 — The Salt Lake Tribune

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An editorial in The Salt Lake Tribune newspaper of Salt Lake City, Utah.

The Salt Lake Tribune (Utah) masthead

Lunatic or Buffoon

We are developing a reluctant admiration for Mohammed Mossadegh, former prime minister of Iran.

The admiration is not for his capacities as a statesman. We still think he was a dismal flop there. But as the central figure in a three-ring circus he has everything. He’d bring down the house if some modern day P. T. Barnum could get him over to America.

His performance at his court martial in Tehran is something unbelievable. He cries. He faints. He pouts. He screams insults and assaults his defense counsel. His latest stunt was to challenge the prosecutor to a wrestling match. His Micawberish antics even drew broad grins from the chairman and other members of the court and of course shrieks of laughter from the spectators.

Frankly we hardly know what to make of friend Mossadegh. When he was in rower he seemed at times to combine a rare shrewdness with a fickleness which ranged from sheer stupidity to mountebank humbuggery. Sometimes at his trial he acts like simple lunatic. At other times we wonder if he is not applying some considerable histrionic talent into making his trial appear the people of Iran and the world a mere farce.

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


Related links:

No Time For Fainting | Sept. 12, 1953 editorial on Mossadegh

Nothing Settled | Holland Evening Sentinel, January 5, 1954

Taking The Wrinkles Out Of The Persian Carpet | Nov. 25, 1953

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

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