A Real Dilemma

September 1, 1952 — The Salt Lake Tribune

The Mossadegh Project | October 13, 2016                     

A grim editorial on Iran in The Salt Lake Tribune newspaper of Salt Lake City, Utah.

The Salt Lake Tribune (Utah) masthead

The Devil or the Sea

The world had a 12-hour glimpse Friday of the danger which lies just beneath the surface of dictator-run Iran.

For that period Premier Mossadegh, who for the time being is ruling the country with an iron hand, relaxed the martial law which has kept a surface appearance of calm in Iran for a month or so. The relaxation was to permit commemoration of the 40th day (the number 40 has Moslem religious significance) since the July 21 riots in which a number of Iranians were killed. [30 Tir uprising]

Iran’s Tudeh Communist party took advantage of the lifting of strict military controls to stage mass meetings, at which the typical Communist hatred for the United States and Britain, as well as a challenge to the authority of the Shah, was voiced.

The incident emphasizes that the Communist threat in Iran is still grave—and very close under the surface. Only tight military control stands in the way of its emergence to a boiling outbreak which might easily put the Communists in power.

Worst part about it all for the West is that this danger of a Communist seizure of power forces us on the side of military dictatorship—and Mossadegh. [This statement would prove very ironic the following year]

It is a poor choice between the devil and the deep blue sea—but on this part of the world stage there doesn’t seem to be any “god in the machine” [deus ex machina] to present us with a miraculous third-choice rescue.

70th Anniversary of TIME’s 1951 Man of the Year

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Related links:

Fruits Of Folly In Iran | Miami Daily News, December 7, 1951

Mossy and the Pistol | The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, September 2, 1952

Mossadegh Backers Bar Iranian Reds | June 19, 1953 (AP)

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

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