The Empire Has Its Hands Full
October 20, 1951 — San Bernardino County Sun

The Mossadegh Project | September 24, 2020                               

This lead editorial in The San Bernardino County Sun (Southern California) plagiarized from an earlier newspaper editorial, Mossadegh Before UN. The ripped portions, either stolen verbatim or slightly rephrased, are highlighted.

More Woe for Britain

The upsurge of resentment against the British has spread from Iran to Egypt and now the empire has its hands full trying to defend its position as protectors over the Suez canal.

The trouble got its start when Iran decided to nationalize the rich oil fields within its borders, taking control away from the British who had built and operated the refineries for many years.

Without technicians it is questionable whether the Iranians can efficiently and profitably operate the great oil industry, and that leaves the door partly open to Communist infiltration.

The issue has now been placed before the security council of the United Nations over the protest of Mohammed Mossadegh, Iran premier, who was given the support of the Soviet delegation. This action on the part of Moscow was unquestionably for the purpose of further driving a wedge between the middle east and the western democracies.

And now the difficulties in Egypt have flared into violence and behind the fanatical actions of students and other Egyptians no doubt can be found the troublesome hand of Soviet Russia, fanning the flames of hatred and encouraging excesses.

The Egyptian parliament has taken steps toward dissolving the treaties with Great Britain that provided for joint control over the Sudan and gave the British rights to control the zone through which the Suez canal passes.

In this instance the British foreign office has announced that it will stand fast. Dean Acheson, U.S. secretary of state, says the Washington administration will support the British in insisting that Egypt cannot abrogate the treaties.

The case of Iran was somewhat difficult and the British had little right to challenge nationalization of the oil industry inasmuch as the Labor government has as one of its key policies the nationalization of key British industries. London found itself in the position of not being able to condemn the same acts in Iran that it fostered in Great Britain.

When Premier Mossadegh appeared before the United Nations council to dispute the right of that body to interfere in what he termed an internal problem of his country, he must have been inspired by memories of Iran’s past greatness.

Twenty-five centuries ago Persia, now known as Iran, was the hub of what was then the civilized world. It stood at the crossroads of trade between Europe and the east. Even today, though Iran has not kept pace with the rest of the world, it is strategically located, both because of its geography and economy due to oil.

Egypt, also like Iran, was once a great kingdom of the ancient world. A century ago, Egypt was too corrupt and disorganized to retain its share in the Suez canal, on Egyptian soil.
Like Iran, Egypt had to to turn to foreign aid to take advantage of its resources. At that time Great Britain was the world’s greatest power and assumed responsibility for developing the middle east.

Now Great Britain, having been thrown off economic balance by two world wars, and the split up of the empire is finding itself challenged on all sides. Meanwhile, the Soviet Union sits on the sidelines like a buzzard waiting for an opportunity to pick the bones of what is left after the disputants get through with each other.

If the Russians could move in on the heels of the departing Britons it would be a great stroke of good fortune for the cause of communism. But the British say they have finished moving. Notice has been served on King Farouk of Egypt that the British will insist upon recognition of all treaty rights and will fight if necessary to maintain the present position.

The situation grows more serious with each passing hour. Egypt has called up reserves and the estimated 40,000 British troops have been alerted for serious trouble.

The trouble is essentially Britain’s because it is that nation’s rights that are at stake, but it does not end there. The whole world has a share in this new upheaval, for the threat of communism lurks behind every overt act against the western democracies. It is another phase of the never ceasing conflict of the little men in the Kremlin for world domination. They want to see the west crowded out of the east and then the Soviet Union will take over. Shorn of western protection, Egypt and Iran would be easy picking for the Soviet and that eventuality is being encouraged by Moscow.

Mossadegh & Arbenz & Lumumba & Sukarno & Allende... shirts

Mossadegh & Arbenz & Lumumba & Sukarno & Allende... t-shirts

Divvying Up the Loot: The Iran Oil Consortium Agreement of 1954
Divvying Up the Loot: The Iran Oil Consortium Agreement of 1954


Related links:

Iran Oil Dispute Ends | San Bernardino County Sun, Aug. 9, 1954

Hague Considers Iran Oil Question | Spokesman-Review, June 23, 1952

Mossadegh Before UN | October 16, 1951 editorial

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

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