Two Courses, Diverged
October 3, 1951 — The Spokesman-Review

The Mossadegh Project | January 27, 2020                  

This Spokane, Washington newspaper was optimistic about a resolution by the United Nations on Iran’s conflict with Great Britain over the nationalization of oil.

UN Should Be Able to End Oil Dispute

Despite communist opposition, the United Nations security council has acted wisely, if tardily in its vote to consider the British-Iranian oil issue. This is the very type of dispute for which international arbitration agencies are designed.

In a debate that until now has been ruled by force and nationalistic fervor, the point is approaching when Britain also may also have to decide to use force. When two sides of an argument both are confident of their strength and want to show it, that makes a fight. International fights, wars are just what the UN is meant to avoid.

The Iranian oil muddle is heading for a certain showdown, either before the UN council or in violent action after it. Premier Mossadegh of Iran, who started the whole thing; now has lost control of it; he underestimated the British willingness to let his country have all of the profit of Iranian oil and now fares a constituency that is mad because there are no more profits. Without British technicians working the refineries there are not likely to be any. [British warships harassed tankers exporting Iranian oil, calling it stolen property]

Only two future courses appear possible for this long-lasting dispute.

Iran could have a political reversal, by a change of administration or a change of heart by the present government, and decide to play ball with the British.

The alternative is for Iran to try to turn its all resources into money by taking Russia into partnership. Long before pipe lines could be laid to the Russian border the Iranians would find themselves so enslaved by communist masters that those who lived at all would live to regret the day of that decision.

Among those who surely would lose heavily by any dealings with the reds would he Premier Mossadegh himself and his fellow members of parliament who are predominantly big landowners. That alone is assurance that eventually they will cooperate with Britain, but the place to bring about a decision is in United Nations discussions, not in bloody riots and warfare.

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:

Iranian Leader Seen As Big Problem For U.N. | Peter Edson, Oct. 15, 1951

Mossadegh Pays a Call | The WORLD This WEEK, October 13, 1951

Wants Referendum On U.N. | Letter to the Editor (Oct. 27, 1951)

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

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