Cold Turkey
October 3, 1952 — The Suffolk County News

The Mossadegh Project | January 6, 2019                     

This was a regular political column in The Suffolk County Evening News newspaper (Sayville, Long Island, New York).

Weekly Commentary From Washington


Washington — The United States and Britain are not the only countries worrying about the rapidly deteriorating Iranian situation.

The Turks fear a Russian flanking in the east if the Iranian situation gets out of hand and Premier Mohammed Mossadegh cannot maintain control. And matters are getting worse by the day, as the deficit of the government piles up higher and higher. This flanking could become serious to the West’s cause if it enables the Communists to surprise the Turkish army in the east.

In Ankara, last autumn, the Turkish Chief or Staff pointed out that the key to the Middle Eastern dilemma was Iran. A strong allied Iranian army could help bolster a front to the south of the Russians, but a weak, or Communist, Iran is an invitation to invasion.

Almost a year later the situation has worsened, not improved. The Anglo-Iranian Oil Company has been put out of operation, partly as a result of Communist agitation. The United States maintained a solid front with the British for months after that illegal action, perhaps hoping that Mossadegh would be thrown out as the deficit mushroomed. And sure enough, this summer, Mossadegh was replaced by a new government, reportedly more friendly to the West. [Ahmad Ghavam, who took over after Mossadegh resigned]

However, that Government lasted only a few weeks. [it lasted three days] Mossadegh came back stronger than ever. It was only then that the British realized it was time to do some compromising, else run an increasing risk of losing Iran to the Russian orbit. The only reason the Reds have not already taken over is because of the strong anti-Communist sentiment in the south and rural areas of the country.

The Greeks are also interested in the Iranian situation. They know any Greek-Turkish defense arrangements would be gravely complicated if Iran transformed into an aggressive Communist neighbor of Turkey’s.

How the Iranian crisis will be resolved is still a mystery. Unless Mossadegh bends a bit in his attitude, he may drive his country into the Communist stable, whether meaning to or not. And he isn’t bending at the moment. The Tudeh party is ready to take advantage of any chaos, well financed and also well organized. A desperate situation could develop before the end of the year.


Related links:

Cutting Off His Nose | U.S. editorial, October 21, 1952

Iran Still Sitting Tight | The San Bernardino County Sun, March 24, 1953

Mossadegh’s Mistake | U.S. editorial, August 31, 1953

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

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