Cause For Optimism

August 22, 1953 — The San Francisco Examiner

The Mossadegh Project | December 2, 2022                 

The 1953 coup in Iran

The San Francisco Examiner reacted to the overthrow of Premier Mossadegh in this lead editorial.

Coup in Iran

THE one cause for western optimism in the Royalist coup in Iran is that the Tudeh (Communist) Party will be set back severely enough to make it useless as a political instrument in the greedy Soviet pressure for Iranian oil. If the pro-Shah government, headed by Maj. Gen. Fazollah Zahedi, can consolidate itself and win secure control of the country, that seems about as much as the West can hope for and no more. [Fazlollah Zahedi]

Certainly our own inept statesmanship, which has blundered itself into the position of being considered a stooge of the British by the people of Iran, can derive little personal satisfaction from the bloody coup that swept tough, old Premier Mossadegh out of power.

It is true that Doctor Mossadegh had been showing an alarming tolerance of late of the Tudeh Party, accepting its support as a necessary expediency for ruling but the question remains: Was he pushed into that position by western blundering of months ago, or did he enter it voluntarily? [Any examples?]

The British have no reason for elation. The new Premier Zahedi is about as violently anti-British as he is anti-Communist. And the fanatical Moslem leader, Ayatollah Kashani, who appears to have given Zahedi powerful support in the coup, is bitterly anti-British.

It will be days, perhaps weeks, before the present turmoil is resolved one way or the other. So the only cautious hope so far is that the power of the Tudeh Party will be broken.

“If I sit silently, I have sinned”: A guiding principle
The untold story behind Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh's famous quote “If I sit silently, I have sinned”


Related links:

Is Iran Next on the Red Timetable? | Los Angeles Times, August 18, 1953

Shah Has His Hand Out | New York Daily News, August 25, 1953

Iranian Prime Minister Faces Growing Opposition | CIA, Feb. 21, 1953

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

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