The Same Recalcitrant
June 23, 1952 — The Spokesman-Review

The Mossadegh Project | December 22, 2017                 

Editorial in a Spokane, Washington newspaper on the World Court deliberations over the AIOC and Iran.

Hague Considers Iran Oil Question

Remember Mossadegh? Remember the dispute over Iran’s seizure of Anglo-Iranian Oil company properties within the emotional premier’s country? In this age of fast-moving events last year’s uproar over Iranian oil could be almost forgotten.

It comes to attention again with the world court at The Hague at last taking up the question of its jurisdiction to hear the dispute. In the meantime the oil refineries formerly operated by British in Iran have lain idle. All this time Mossadegh’s country is having to do without the large share of oil profits that used to be its chief sustenance, and the British have built up oil developments elsewhere. Britain and the world no longer miss Iran’s oil, but Iran certainly must miss the income it used to have.

Nevertheless, Premier Mossadegh still shows no sign of retreating from his position of obstinate insistence upon having his way. He and his attorneys before the world court are trying to prove the court has no jurisdiction in the case.

The Iranian premier refused to agree to any proposal of the British to continue operation under terms more favorable to Iran; he spurned Secretary of State Acheson’s half-hearted attempts to patch the quarrel; [Dean Acheson] he refused to accept help from the world bank, because Britain is represented in it, he refused to contribute to defense of the free world in return for American cash gifts and loans to tide his country over its trouble; he defied the world court’s preliminary injunction to continue oil production under a joint Iran-company board.

The world court, by accepting and deciding the dispute, could provide Mossadegh with a way out without too much loss of face. But he’s still the same recalcitrant, insisting the court has no jurisdiction and making plain that, whatever the outcome, it will “make no difference in Iran’s intention to follow the road it has chosen.” [The International Court of Justice determined it lacked jurisdiction one day prior. Recalcitrant?]

The rest of the world would like to have the court decide anyway; question of whether nationalization of a foreign-owned industry violates international covenants is one of great interest, both in the realm of international law and in the field of trade and investment.

[Their source appears to be an article in The Economist: “Indeed, the Persians have threatened to nip such proceedings in the bud, since they have proclaimed that the ultimate decision of the Court will “make no difference to their intention to follow the road they have chosen.” A Court decision that it has jurisdiction might therefore have no immediate practical result on the flow of oil, but it would have some legal and moral consequences that would be of interest to the whole world.”]

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:

Reader Agrees With Jst. William O. Douglas | Spokesman-Review (1952 letter)

Iran Nazis at Airport To See Mossadegh Off | UPI, May 28, 1952

Spited Their Own Face | The Jamestown Post-Journal, Oct. 6, 1953

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

Facebook  Twitter  YouTube  Tumblr   Instagram